Daniel Andrews has taken a dig at Aussie selectors in the wake of Dean Jones’ tragic death.
Jones, 59, died in Mumbai on Thursday after suffering a heart attack.
The Aussie batting great was in Mumbai while commentating on the Indian Premier League for Star Sports.
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As tributes flooded in from around Australia and the rest of the world, Victorian Premier Andrews added his voice to the shock.
And the proud Victorian couldn’t resist a dig at selectors, opening up old wounds about why Jones never played more Test matches for his country.
“Dean Jones was the epitome of grit, determination and sheer fight,” Andrews wrote on Twitter.
“He rewrote the rule book for the one-day game — and should have been picked for many more than his 52 Tests.
“A legend of sport. A legend of this state. And we love him ‘cause he’s Victorian.”
Dean Jones was the epitome of grit, determination and sheer fight.
He rewrote the rulebook for the one-day game – and should have been picked for many more than his 52 Tests.
A legend of sport. A legend of this state.
And we love him 'cause he's Victorian. pic.twitter.com/dZsxnqHrAo
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) September 24, 2020
Dean Jones’ controversial axing from national side
Inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019, Jones was a favourite of so many of the sport’s fans in the 1980s and early '90s.
Best known for his swashbuckling batting in one-day cricket, he brought an attacking approach to the game where he was happy to take bowlers on.
His strike rate of 72.56 was brisk for its time, while he still maintained an average above 44.61 with seven centuries.
Jones attacked in the field and between the wickets, helping set the tone for the way the modern limited-overs game is played today.
But he was also an accomplished Test cricketer, although selectors didn’t always think so.
Jones played 52 Tests between 1984 and 1992, scoring 3631 runs with 11 centuries and an average of 46.55.
After making his debut against the West Indies in 1984, he became a regular two years later when he produced what is still regarded as one of the grittiest performances by an Australian Test cricketer.
His 210 against India in the 42C heat and extreme humidity of Madras was the stuff of Test folklore, as was the ensuing hospital trip where he required a drip.
However Jones’ Test career came to an abrupt end when he was dropped in 1992 despite being in red-hot form.
During the four Tests that preceded his axing, Jones had scored 150 not out against India in Perth and 100 not out against Sri Lanka in Colombo, amassing 433 runs at an average of 72.16.
He was also dropped from the Australian ODI side in 1994, retiring from international cricket in protest.
“I said, ‘Are you trying to tell me that you’re a better player than me, in one-day cricket? Really? Well, that’s it, I’m done’,” Jones said on the Lessons Learnt with the Greats podcast recently.
“And I retired straight away. That was it. They (the selectors) said, ‘No, you’ve got to go to Sharjah to play all these one-day series’.
“I’m going no, I went on, (and) that was it. No thank you, no nothing. That was it.”
He remains Victoria’s second leading run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield, staying on to play for his state until 1998.
“We often think about Jones' flamboyance ... but like all the great players, very mentally and physically tough and those are things you admire in an Australian cricketer,” Aussie national team coach Justin Langer said on Thursday.
“His 200 in Madras, it’s almost part of legend in Australian Test cricket, in the brotherhood of the baggy green.”
Later in life Jones became a respected commentator and coach, fitting seamlessly into the media landscape while still having a strong influence on the sport.