Don’t call it a comeback.
That was Adam Jones’s response when asked if his short-lived retirement was a case of itchy feet.
Ahead of day two of Bective East’s intriguing clash against City United at No.1 Oval on Saturday, the former Bulls skipper maintains he is a temporary mid-season recruit – conscripted into the side two matches ago, after retiring at the end of last season following 30 straight years of cricket, due to a player shortage. City will resume on 7-107, after dismissing Bective for 99.
“I’m enjoying Saturdays off. But my club needed some help for a couple of weeks, so I couldn't leave them short,” he said. “That’s all it it. I’m still enjoying not playing.”
It may turn out to be a brief reaquaintance with the game for the Bulls vice president, but it is one he is enjoying. Without the pressure of the captaincy, he finds it “more enjoyable to just turn up and play a game of cricket”.
However fleeting Jones’s involvement in the team may be, the former NSW Country rep’s vast experience would be welcomed in a team boasting some of the region’s best young players.
One of Tamworth cricket’s most prodigious run-scorers, Jones said it was a shame some other top young talent, such as Toby Whale, had parted company with the Bulls.
“It’s a very young side and you’ve got extremely good talent in that young side,” he said. “I guess the difficult thing is to get some of them to commit every week when they’ve got so much going on.”
Jones’s return, in a loss to North Tamworth last round, coincided with the Bective debut of Moree fast bowler Jack Montgomery, a ACT/NSW Country under-17 rep this year. Montgomery has been joined at Bective by his teenage older brother, Paddy, a former NSW Country quick.
He [Jack Montgomery] is one kid who has a really bright future, if he stays injury free,” Jones said, adding that Montgomery was the best and quickest 16-year-old he had seen in the region since Test vice captain Josh Hazlewood. “He’s exceptional,” Jones said of Montgomery.
Jones said Bective could get the outright win against competition-leaders City. “It’s a game of cricket – anything could happen,” he said. “There’s a full day of cricket tomorrow [Saturday]. Just because they’re eight runs ahead, it doesn’t mean that game’s over.”
What would be over, Jones insisted, would be his return to cricket – as soon as the Bulls had sufficient numbers. “I’m hoping the other boys will commit again, and I can sit back and enjoy my Saturdays again.”