Those of you who don’t know can probably guess: he’s injured.
He had his knee operated on in April and he’ s out for the season. He made it to August last season and that’s about as much cricket as he’s ever managed in one go.
So Simon Jones sits in the SWALEC stadium and the camera lingers on him as England’s bowlers toil. The subtext is ‘if only’ which is a sign of how bad things are.
Simon Jones is widely considered a magical, match-winning bowler purely because there’s an absence of evidence to the contrary. He’s untainted. Two five wicket hauls against Australia (not to be sniffed at, but with a few tail-enders in amongst the wickets) do not Malcolm Marshall make.
The view of him as an England match-winner is largely a fiction and says more about what’s happening on the pitch now than anything he himself ever did.
It’s hard not to feel for Jones though. We find ourself plummeting into despair when we can’t find a clean teaspoon. We wouldn’t be able to cope with the grim inevitability of the lengthy injury setbacks Jones faces every time he’s been off crutches for longer than a fortnight.