Paceman Simon Jones is putting all thoughts of an Ashes comeback this summer on the back burner and concentrating on proving his fitness and form for Worcestershire.

Jones was one of the heroes of England's 2005 triumph over Australia with 18 wickets in the opening four Tests of England's 2-1 success over Ricky Ponting's side.

Since then he has been beset by knee problems and underwent further surgery last September after taking 42 first-class wickets in his debut season at New Road.

The former Glamorgan player retains faith in his ability to force his way back into the international fold.  But all his current focus is on getting ready to play for the Royals although he will not be available for the opening LV County Championship clash with Hampshire at the Rose Bowl starting tomorrow.

Jones, speaking at Worcestershire's pre-season media day, said: "Any cricketer would say that the Ashes is in their thoughts but at the same time I am focusing on my cricket with Worcestershire.

"I just want to play cricket. That is when I am at my happiest. If I can play well for Worcestershire and take wickets, then I'll be pushing for a place (with England).

"I believe in myself and if I am doing well, then I will be up there. But I am not looking too far ahead. You can get carried away with yourself.

"I'm going to get as fit as I can and, if I'm on the pitch and performing then we'll have to wait and see what happens, but it is out of my hands.  I'm nearly there. I'm bowling off half a run-up now and that will progress quickly. It is just getting the overs under the belt now.

"It can be a little frustrating but patience is the key word for me. I have worked hard all winter. I am not just going to rush things and push my body too much because it is a long season."

Jones has had to endure many setbacks since his initial horrific knee injury during a Test against the Australians in Brisbane six years ago.

But he is certainly not contemplating retirement after helping Worcestershire gain promotion from Division Two in his first season at the county.  He said: "I'll play for another three or four years yet. That is what I want to do. You just focus on your future rather than what is just in front of you.

"You have to keep your chin up, work hard, and get on with it. There is no point on dwelling on things because that is when negative stuff comes into your head and that is dangerous.

"I wouldn't be in the game if I didn't think I could still do the business, however hard it is has been at times. I would have given up a long time ago."

Worcestershire have confirmed their new team sponsor is the Cotswold Group who have signed a two-year, six-figure deal with the county. The Cotswold Group is the leading supplier to the UK insurance industry of claims validation services.