12 Apr

Australian cricket great Dean Jones has launched a scathing attack on the game’s administrators in his home state, saying Cricket Victoria has “hurt” him.

Questions were raised after Jones recently asked for his name to be removed from Victoria’s one-day player of the year award.

He also rescinded his life membership from the state he used to captain and it has been revealed he felt scorned after he was overlooked for two coaching positions with two Big Bash League (BBL) teams, the Melbourne Renegades and the Melbourne Stars.

“Where it has come from is the lack of culture and vision and strategy by the Cricket Victoria administration has just hurt me,” Jones told Sportsday.

“I played 20 years for my state and was proud to have done it. Their five-step plan from 2017 to 2022 is just so far wrong as to where they are going. They wanted to be the No.1 sport in Victoria. Well that is not happening after AFL.

“They wanted to make permanent Australian players. Well we haven’t got one decent player in the Australian team except for Aaron Finch who is the captain.

“They basically pulled the Stars and Renegades away from Eddie McGuire and now they have lost millions of dollars in sponsorship.

“The way the administration has looked after things is poor. They did budget costs of Aus$2 million dollars last year and the Victorian team had no pre-season tournament.

“The 18 premier clubs are supposed to produce all these permanent Australian players. It is so weak. It is just awful the way it has been played.

“Every past player Merv Hughes, Shane Warne, Darren Berry, Damien Fleming, Simon O’Donnell left Cricket Victoria with some sort of axe to grind.

“No past players have been involved in any coaching spots. No reunions of past winning shields or past players men or women have been involved in reunions.

“Our website doesn’t even mention any teams that have won shields. By the way we have won 32.

“The recognition of 18 and 19-year-old kids. There is hardly any young kids coming through apart from Pucovski and Sutherland.

“Now they want to go to Adam Zampa when we have a really good young batsman and leg-spinner Will Parker and we need to put some time in him and they want to go for Zampa. I’ve got no idea of their direction.”

Jones said being overlooked for two Big Bash coaching positions along with a number of other candidates for two relative novices in the coaching world was the final straw.

“The catalyst was I put in for two jobs for the Stars and the Renegades,” Jones said.

“I was interviewed by Michael Beer and David Hussey resigns from the Cricket Victoria board and gets the job.

“He had no experience and nothing behind him. Max Klinger went for the job in front of Trevor Bayliss, Brad Hodge and others. He had no experience and gets the job.

“They have given jobs for the boys and I think it is an insult not just to me, but to overseas coaches.Trevor Bayliss is the best coach in the world and they didn’t want him. I feel we are going the wrong way at the moment.

“The decision was made in November when I told Shaun Graf and Andrew Ingleton the CEO of Cricket Victoria that I wanted my name and my life membership to be rescinded. They asked me why and I said one day you might want to ring me up because I haven’t spoken to Andrew Ingleton for 18 months nor have I spoken to Shaun Graf. They rang me up in January and said we need to talk. I said talk to me when I get back from Pakistan (Jones has recently coached Islamabad United to two PSL titles and Karachi Kings in 2019).  I’ve been home for three weeks. They haven’t spoken to me.”

Cricket Victoria boss Shaun Graf spoke on SEN radio on Wednesday and couldn’t understand Jones’ actions.

“We’re in the dark as much as most people to be quite honest, Dean is the only one that really knows why,” Graf said.

Jones has history of this type of critical behaviour. He 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.

John Stephenson


* The email will not be published on the website.