Dean Jones (cricketer)
Dean Mervyn Jones AM (born 24 March 1961) is an Australian cricket commentator, coach and former cricketer, who played Tests and One Day Internationals for Australia. Although he could boast an excellent record in Test cricket, Jones is best remembered for his batting and fielding in the ODI format; through the late 1980s and early 1990s he was regarded among the best ODI batsmen in the world, a view which has been validated in the retrospective ICC Player Rankings. His batting was characterized by his nimble footwork against both pace and spin, frenetic running between wickets and willingness to take risks. He was also an outstanding outfielder. In 2019 Jones was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
|Full name||Dean Mervyn Jones|
|Born||24 March 1961|
Coburg, Victoria, Australia
|Bowling||Right arm off spin|
|Test debut (cap 324)||16 March 1984 v West Indies|
|Last Test||13 September 1992 v Sri Lanka|
|ODI debut (cap 79)||30 January 1984 v Pakistan|
|Last ODI||6 April 1994 v South Africa|
|Domestic team information|
Source: CricketArchive, 26 January 2009
Jones began his first-class career in the 1981–82 season with Victoria in the Sheffield Shield. Jones also played for Durham and Derbyshire in the English County Championship. He left Derbyshire in mid-season and also had run-ins with authority and teammates in his home state of Victoria. During his career, he scored 19,188 runs in first-class matches, including 55 centuries and 88 half centuries and a highest score of 324 not out, at an average of 51.85.
Jones was selected on the 1984 tour of the West Indies after Graham Yallop had to pull out due to injury. He was not picked in the original XI, but was drafted into the side after Steve Smith fell ill. Jones himself was very ill before the Test, and deemed his score of 48 on his debut as his "best knock". Between 1984 and 1992, Jones played 52 Test matches for Australia, scoring 3,631 runs, including 11 centuries, at an average of 46.55.
His most notable innings was in only his third Test against India in the Tied Test in Chennai (Madras) in 1986. Suffering from dehydration in the oppressively hot and humid conditions, Jones was frequently vomiting on the pitch. He wanted to go off the field "retired ill" which led his captain Allan Border to say that if he could not handle the conditions, he would "get a Queenslander" (Greg Ritchie, a Queenslander like Border, was the next man in to bat). This comment spurred Jones to score 210, an innings he considered a defining moment in his career and one of the epic Test innings in Australian cricket folklore. This innings of 210 remains the highest score by an Australian cricketer in India.
One of the keys to Australia's unexpected victory in the 1987 Cricket World Cup was the batting foundation laid by the top three batsmen - Jones batting at number three behind the openers David Boon and Geoff Marsh. Jones would score a total of 314 runs at an average of 44, with 3 half-centuries.
Jones went on to be a mainstay of the Australian Test team middle order over the next six years and being one of the stars of the successful 1989 Ashes tour of England. He was recognized for his efforts by being named as one of Cricketers of the Year in the 1990 edition of Wisden Almanack. He was controversially dropped from the test team at the start of the 1992–93 season, despite having topped the averages in the previous Test series, against Sri Lanka.
Jones stayed in the one-day team a little longer: he was omitted from the one-day team for the 1993 Ashes tour, but managed to force his way back into the team for one last stint during the 1993–94 season, before being dropped for what would be the final time.
Jones continued to play for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield. In 1996, he joined Derbyshire as their overseas player and was also appointed captain. Jones led from the front, scoring over 1300 runs with 4 centuries at an average of 49.55, as Derbyshire finished second in the County Championship, their best result in many years. However, he announced his resignation in June the following year after the players revolted against his captaincy. After retiring in 1998, he continued to remain involved in cricket as a coach, commentator and writer for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.
He is also a noted fundraiser for people with cancer. On 12 June 2006, in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, he was made a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for "service to cricket as a player, coach and commentator, and to the community through fundraising activities for organisations assisting people with cancer".
Jones publicly expressed his disappointment at not being considered for selection as coach of the Indian cricket team in 2005; another former Australian batsman Greg Chappell was selected instead.
In February 2016, Jones was the head coach of Islamabad United in PSL 2016 and they won the first ever PSL title in Feb-2016.
Despite his abundant talent as a cricketer, Jones' strong personality and tendency to speak his mind sometimes resulted in friction and conflict with teammates, other players and selectors. Arguably the most famous incident during his international career occurred on 16 January 1993 during the first one-day final of the 1992-93 Benson & Hedges World Series against West Indies at Sydney Cricket Ground, when he asked paceman Curtly Ambrose to remove the wristband he was wearing on his bowling arm. Riled by this request, Ambrose went on to take 5/32 for the match. He followed this up in the remaining two games of the Test series with a 10-wicket haul in Adelaide and then a famous spell of 7 for 1 in Perth to help the West Indies retain the Frank Worrell Trophy.
Writing about the incident over 20 years later, Jones reflected that at the time, he was struggling to keep his place in the team after having his thumb broken by Wasim Akram. Furthermore, Damien Martyn had taken Jones' spot in the Test side, and Jones was furious after coach Bob Simpson announced the team for the upcoming test in Adelaide and was again left out. Jones noticed that Ambrose's white wristbands were causing difficulties for the batsmen, and thought that by asking him to remove them, "it would create a massive stir within the Windies team and might get Ambrose to bowl a different line and length.". Despite vehement protests from the other players, Simpson agreed to Jones' idea, and the rest was history.
Jones' commentating contract with Ten Sports was terminated after referring to South African player Hashim Amla as a "terrorist" on 7 August 2006. When Amla, who is a Muslim with a full beard, took a catch, Jones was heard to say "the terrorist gets another wicket". Jones made the comment during a commercial break, but the comment went to air live in South Africa as its broadcast had not been interrupted. He apologised to all concerned.
- Pierik, Jon (11 February 2019). "Jones, Fitzpatrick and Murdoch inducted into cricket's Hall of Fame". The Age. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
- 'I'm trying to hit sixes in the commentary box'
- Australia in Sri Lanka, Aug–Sep 1992 – Test Averages
- "English Domestic Season 1996 - County Championship Batting Averages". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
- Culley, Jon (12 June 1997). "Jones quits Derbyshire". The Independent.
- "Dean Jones appointed interim Afghanistan coach". ESPN Cricinfo. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
- Paul Radley (25 March 2018). "Luke Ronchi stars as Islamabad United beat Peshawar Zalmi to clinch PSL 2018". The National. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- Jones, Dean (25 December 2015). "Dean Jones: How I lost a Test series against the Windies". Sydney Morning Herald.
- Dean Jones sacked after 'terrorist' remark