Had his career not been twice interrupted, Closs Jones would surely have won Test honours with England.
The off-spinner from Briton Ferry CC played initially as an amateur in 1934, before turning professional in 1937. During that season he began with five-wicket hauls against Kent and Lancashire, followed by 7/79 against Sussex, before taking 10/94 against the New Zealanders at Cardiff as Glamorgan defeated the tourists by six wickets. This resulted in his selection for the Rest of the World side which played the MCC in their 150th Anniversary match, and the England selectors had a chance to assess the credentials of the 25 year old Welshman.
However, soon afterwards, he badly injured his shoulder and lost form, taking just fourteen wickets in the last two months of the season. Closs regained his form in the Glamorgan side in 1938, and sought to re-establish himself as one of the country`s best young off-spinners. He also worked hard on his batting skills, striking a career-best 132 against Cambridge University at Swansea, as well as an unbeaten 105 against Kent at Tonbridge in 1939.
But just when he seemed back to his best, his career was halted again by the outbreak of the Second World War. Closs appeared in several of the county`s fund-raising friendlies during 1944 and 1945, but the War blighted his attempts to rediscover his form as a spin bowler. By the time the County Championship re-started in 1946, Closs had opted for a career away from county cricket. He agreed to help out the Club during 1946, but retired from professional cricket at the end of the summer.
JONES, Emrys Closs
Born – Briton Ferry, 14th December 1911.
Died – Briton Ferry, 14th April 1989.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 132 v Cambridge University at Swansea, 1938; 7/79 v Sussex at Cardiff Arms Park, 1937.