Brooke overseas all-rounder is a star – both on and off the pitch
- Credit: Archant
To say Mike Jones has his hands full with his coaching responsibilities is something of an understatement – but that hasn't stopped Brooke's overseas professional from taking the Dipple and Conway Norfolk Alliance by storm this season.
The 32-year-old all-rounder is spending the summer passing on his knowledge to youngsters at Langley School, and when he's not there you'll generally find him at the village club putting their young, and not so young, players through their paces.
It's a hectic schedule that Jones enjoys immensely – but he also likes being out in the middle, as Brooke's rivals have found out to their cost during the early stages of the Premier Division campaign. The fact that the newly promoted outfit top the table going into tomorrow's home match against Swardeston A is down to a superb team effort. But there's absolutely no doubt that the club's experienced overseas player has been the star of the show.
In six Alliance innings he has scored 477 runs at an average of 119.25 with a strike rate of 95.59 and a best score of 130 not out. He has also taken 11 wickets at average 19.82 with his off-spin, with a best of five for 44.
On top of that he has averaged 110, having been dismissed just once, in his two Carter Cup matches, to help Brooke to a semi-final date with reigning EAPL champions Swardeston and has also scored heavily in his side's two wins in the Norfolk Twenty20 competition.
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Having previously played in Suffolk for first Woolpit and then Sudbury, Jones couldn't be happier over the county border in Norfolk, and, not surprisingly, he can't wait for the next game.
'It has been a great move for me and I am enjoying every minute of it,' said the overseas star. 'I was looking for a club over here and Matt Collinge, who I used to play with at Sudbury, suggested I should come and join him at Brooke. The club came highly recommended and I certainly haven't been disappointed. It's been a great start to the season and I don't even think we have reached our peak yet. I think there's more to come from the boys.
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'I am obviously enjoying my cricket at the moment – I am in a nice run of form and hopefully that will continue.'
It's also going well off the field, with Jones adding: 'I am based at Langley School and work with the children there virtually every day while I am also doing coaching at Brooke so I am being kept nice and busy.'
Jones arrived at Brooke with an interesting background, and the opening sentence of his profile on the cricx.com website illustrates the point perfectly. It reads: 'Michael Jones (32) is a South African-born, New Zealand resident playing cricket in Australia with a British Passport.'
So how would the man himself describe himself?
'Well my parents are both British and met in South Africa where I was born and brought up. I moved to New Zealand when I was 14 and then, in 2006, I decided to move to Australia to play my cricket (he has been with the Malvern Club in Victoria ever since).
'I guess I am a Kiwi – I was certainly supporting them when I attended the World Cup Final earlier this year!'
Brooke's overseas ace won't just remember his time at Brooke for the cricket. This week his partner Kelly gave birth to their first child, Oscar – so this much travelled all-rounder will have a Norfolk-born son to remind of him of the good times!