At the end of an Ashes-winning summer, Brentwood School is delighted to announce that Ashes-winning wicket-keeper Geraint Jones MBE will be joining the School as a specialist cricket coach.
After 15 years as a professional cricketer, Mr Jones recently stepped down as Gloucestershire captain and announced his retirement from the professional game. He will take up the reins from Mr Brian Hardie, who retired at the end of the Trinity Term after 25 years as Master in Charge of Cricket at Brentwood.
Mr Hardie enjoyed a first-class cricketing career playing for Essex before joining the School’s PE Department in 1990. Over the past 25 years, many hundreds of cricketers of all ages and abilities benefitted from his knowledge, skilful coaching and insistence on high standards.
Speaking after today’s announcement, Mr Jones said he was thrilled to be joining a school with such a fine cricketing reputation, and he hoped to pass on his love of the game to generations of boys and girls at the School.
Mr Jones, who played 34 Tests for England and 49 one-day internationals and was England’s wicket-keeper in the fabled 2005 Ashes triumph at Edgbaston when he caught last man Michael Kasprowicz with Australia needing just three runs for victory. It remains one of the iconic moments in English sporting history and a defining moment is his career.
Mr Jones, who was born in Papua New Guinea to Welsh parents, grew up in Australia and spent much of his county cricket career playing for Kent. He has also played international cricket for Papua New Guinea.
Taking up the mantle at Brentwood School fulfils Mr Jones’ ambition to remain close to the game of cricket. “It's my love and passion so I definitely wanted to stay in and around the game in some capacity", he said.
Brentwood School has a reputation of producing some first-class cricketing talent including recent leavers Kishen Velani and Thomas Moore.
Kishen Velani, an all-rounder who came through the Essex academy, made his first-team debut in the final Championship match of 2013. He played for England at the 2012 Under-19 World Cup and received more first-team opportunities in 2014. He spent the winter playing for Penrith in Australia's grade competition and has made significant contributions to the Essex first team in 2015.
Thomas Moore has played for Essex in first-class matches this season as a right-handed batsman who is a right-arm medium-fast pace bowler.
Headmaster, Ian Davies, said: “Brentwood has a long and proud cricketing history dating back to Old Brentwood Charles Kortright who played for Essex from 1889 to 1907 and was described in Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack as "probably the fastest bowler in the history of the game."
“Charles Kortright played alongside W.G. Grace in 1898, while his brother Mounteney Kortright, who is remembered in the School Chapel, played cricket for the 3rd King’s Own Hussars. He was the only 3rd Hussar officer to lose his life in action during the Boer War. ”
Cricket commentator, sports journalist and Old Brentwood Ralph Dellor said: “What a catch by Brentwood School to recruit the man who held the most memorable catch of the pivotal 2005 Ashes Test at Edgbaston!
“Bringing in Geraint Jones as cricket coach shows that the School is committed to maintaining its established reputation as a leading cricket school and indicates its pursuit of excellence in all activities at a time when it is sometimes thought that academic league tables are the be all and end all of education.
“Geraint Jones is highly regarded throughout the game and will, I am sure, make a telling contribution to the development of cricket and cricketers at Brentwood.”