Dean Jones AM
Dean Jones was one of Australia's most popular cricketers and changed the way one-day cricket was played. If you grew up in that era you were always “Deano” in games of backyard cricket.
A boyhood hero to many, he grew up just around the corner from Essex Heights, and trained in the local nets. As a junior cricketer, he was fiercely determined to succeed, worked hard and loved batting for long periods.
He started his cricketing career at Ashwood in 1972/73 in the U12s. Playing U14s in 1974/75 he scored 788 runs at 87 and took 40 wickets at 5.7, the highlight being an unbeaten 211 in the Grand Final. While his 211 in the grand final is local legend, few would know that to get his team into the grand final he made 70 and took 8/36 in the semi-final. Jones’ amazing season elicited a response from the junior league’s administrators; from the following season compulsory retirements were introduced.
After Dean’s domination at a local level he moved on to join his father, Barney, at Carlton before playing for Victoria and ultimately Australia.
When he couldn't train at Carlton, he would come and train at the club, much to the dismay of the Ashwood bowlers.
He will be remembered not only for his many on field highlights, but for his support of grass roots cricket and generosity to the club. Dean often donated his time to speak at Ashwood fundraising events and even gave the club his Australian playing gear for our junior cricketers.
After his first tour of the West Indies, Dean arrived home in the morning and presented trophies to the club at our presentation night the same evening. He always went out of his way to remember people and say hi to those he knew, often offering some words of encouragement.
He inspired a generation of cricketers and is held in such high-esteem at the Ashwood Cricket Club that he was awarded Life Membership.
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".
A proud Victorian, he was part of the Australian team that caused a stunning upset to win the 1987 World Cup against all odds, in a moment that lifted Australian cricket out of its darkest period.
DEAN JONES BY THE NUMBERS
52 Test matches for Australia. 3631 runs at 46.55
164 ODIs. 6068 at an average of 44.61
245 First Class matches. 19,188 runs at 51.85, including 55 centuries and 88 half-centuries. He remains Victoria's record run scorer.
# Made debut for Victoria in 1981-82 season.
# Most memorable innings came in the tied Test at Madras on the 1986-87 tour. Hit 210 runs in an innings that lasted 8hr22min, in what Allan Border has described as "one of the gustiest innings he has ever seen". Had to use a saline drip for dehydration and heat exhaustion afterwards.
# Scored ODI centuries on consecutive days - 104 against England on January 1, 1987 and 121 against Pakistan the following day - in Perth.
# In 1987 was part of the Australian team to win the country's first World Cup - scoring 314 runs at an average of 44, with 3 half-centuries, in the tournament in India.
# Named one of Wisden Cricket's Cricketers of the Year in 1990 after playing a key role in Australia's Ashes whitewash victory in England.
# Controversially dropped from the Test team at the start of the 1992-93 season while essentially still in his prime, having topped the averages in the previous Test series, against Sri Lanka.
# Stayed in the ODI team longer, playing his final match in that format in Cape Town in 1994.
# Struck a highest score of 324 not out under lights in a drawn Sheffield Shield day-nighter against South Australia in February 1995.
# In 1996 joined English county Derbyshire, leading them to second place in the county championship, scoring 1300 runs at an average close to 50. But left the following year after falling out with players he was captaining.
# Retired in 1998, and went on to have a successful career writing about the game and on TV, both in Australia and Asia.
# On 12 June 2006, in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for "service to cricket as a player, coach and commentator" as well as efforts on fundraising for cancer charities.
# In 2016, Jones led Islamabad United to the first ever PSL title. Was interim coach for Afghanistan in 2017, before returning to Islamabad to win them another PSL title in 2018. Also coached Karachi Kings the following year.
# 2019 inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.