AO Jones

Arthur Owen Jones was born in Shelton, Nottinghamshire on 16 August 1872 and played for his home county between 1892 and 1914.  Jones made his First-Class debut for Notts in a six-wicket victory over Lancashire in 1892 and went to have a distinguished professional career that included representing England in 14 Test matches.

Overall, Jones played 472 First-Class matches, scoring 22,935 runs at an average of 31.54, including 34 centuries and a highest score of 294. As well as operating as a right-handed batsman, Jones was an excellent fielder who also bowled leg spin. In his First-Class career Jones took 333 wickets at an average of 32.81. Despite Jones’ playing success for Nottinghamshire he was not able to transform his form to international cricket, ending his 14-Test career with 291 runs at an average of just 13.85 and three wickets at an average of 44.33.

Jones was appointed captain of Nottinghamshire in 1900 and led them to a fifth-place finish in the County Championship during which he played all 18 matches, scoring 699 runs and taking 18 wickets. His inspirational leadership contributed to Jones becoming one of the 1900 Wisden Cricketers of the Year, alongside Joe Darling, Clem Hill, Monty Noble and Robert Poore.

Arthur Jones still holds the record for the highest score achieved by a Nottinghamshire batsman playing at Trent Bridge, with 296 against Gloucestershire in the 1903 season (only Walter Keeton’s 312* in 1933 is a higher score by a Notts batsman). Opening the batting, Jones amassed his runs in a total of 503 all out as Nottinghamshire completed a convincing victory by an innings and 256 runs.  His batting skills were exemplified by the fact that no other batsman managed to pass 76.

In 1907 Nottinghamshire won the County Championship under Jones’ leadership, remaining unbeaten while registering 15 wins and four draws.

Jones played six First-Class matches in 1914 before becoming too unwell with tuberculosis. After his final match at Hampshire in early June he spent time in a sanatorium in the New Forest before moving to stay with his brother, a doctor who lived in Dunstable, until his death on 21 December 1914.

Jones was buried in Dunstable Cemetery, and in 1920 a memorial stone was erected by Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club on his grave to remember the high regard in which their former captain was held.

 

April 2020