Cricket legend’s scathing rant after snub

Cricket legend Dean Jones has blasted Cricket Victoria during an explosive spray on Wednesday, calling the organisation’s strategic plan “awful” and their administration “poor”.

Jones played 52 Tests and 164 ODI matches for Australia, but was also a stalwart for the Victorian cricket team during his 16-year career. The star batsman scored 9622 Sheffield Shield runs for the Bushrangers at an average of 54.05, the second-highest tally in the state’s history.

After his retirement in 1998, Jones’ legacy was honoured by Victoria Cricket when the state one-day player of the year award was renamed the Dean Jones Medal.

However, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday, Jones’ name was removed from the accolade upon the former captain’s request. His life membership had also been rescinded.

Dean Jones scored 18 centuries for Australia.Source:News Corp Australia

Speaking to Sportsday, Jones revealed he requested to have the honours stripped because he felt “hurt” by Cricket Victoria’s questionable management and strategic plan.

“Where it has come from is the lack of culture and vision and strategy by the CV administration has just hurt me,” Jones said on Wednesday.

“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.

“The way the administration has looked after things is poor. They did budget costs of $2 million 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.

Dean Jones is one of Victoria’s most successful cricketers.Source:News Limited

Jones also scrutinised Cricket Victoria’s insufficient management of young cricketers emerging through pathway programs.

“There is hardly any young kids coming through apart from (Will) Pucovski and (Will) Sutherland.

“Now they want to go to Adam Zampa when we have a really good young batsman and leg-spinner Will Parker. We need to put some time in him, and they want to go for Zampa.

“I’ve got no idea of their direction.”

Victorian cricketers Glenn Maxwell, Will Pucovski, Nic Maddinson and Sophie Molineux stepped away from cricket this summer citing mental health concerns.

International cricketers James Pattinson and Marcus Stoinis were also fined for using homophobic slurs while representing professional Victorian teams.

Jones applied for a coaching role with the two Melbourne-based Big Bash teams in 2019, but was not considered for either position, Cricket Victoria opting instead for younger, more inexperienced coaches.

Melbourne Renegades coach Michael Klinger.Source:Getty Images

The 59-year-old admitted to feeling insulted by the decision, which proved a “catalyst” for his choice to have his life membership rescinded. Jones also claimed Cricket Victoria “lost millions of dollars in sponsorship” after a conflict with Eddie McGuire.

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

“David Hussey resigns from the Cricket Victoria board and gets the job … He had no experience and nothing behind him.

“Michael 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.

“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’. I’ve been home for three weeks. They haven’t spoken to me.”

Dean Jones clearly entitled to his opinion although not quite true Dave Hussey had no experience, he’s been the Stars’ assistant coach previously. Klinger, it is true, had effectively no coaching experience. Jury out on decisions to sack the BBL boards and make the CEOs redundant

After winning the 2018/19 Big Bash, the Melbourne Renegades, coached by Klinger, endured a horrific tournament this summer, winning only three of their 14 encounters.

Meanwhile, the Melbourne Stars, coached by David Hussey, again failed to secure a Big Bash title, losing in the finals for the eighth time in nine years.

Jones was inducted into the Australian cricket hall of fame in 2019, and is remembered as one of the country’s most formidable middle-order batsman in the one-day format.

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