BY KEN PIESSE
Have known ‘Deano’ (Dean Jones) since he was 17 and opening the bowling for our mid week team the Plastic XI. He was full frontal even then.
In the nets one day at Mt Waverley at Dav Whatmore’s indoor cricketing school, I got a leg break to bounce a bit more and Dean edged it to around second slip. ‘What was that one?’ he immediately called down the wicket. He didn’t allow me to hit the pitch on my next six deliveries, so sparkling and sure was his footwork.
Another time at the MCG, I was batting against the otherwise innocuous off-breaks of Deano, Mike Dimattina and Dav Whatmore, when in marched Merv Hughes, beard and all. Dean immediately called ‘Last ball… six to win’ and I’d only just picked up the bat ready to play the death or glory Dougie Walters pull shot when it thudded into my chest at around 80 mph. (he hadn’t warmed up).
I went down like a sack of spuds. Merv still reminds me of the moment now. The other boys, especially Deano, loved it. The bruise lasted for about four days. Clearly there was a huge gulf between club and big cricket.
Susan and I went to Dean and Jane’s engagement party and alongside Dav, Peter ‘Far’ King, Andrew Zesers, John Dyson and others we all toured interstate together for a big Darwin charity event. Deano always remained loyal to his old mid week buddies. We are all feeling his loss. As one of my mates Anthony Hall said last night: ‘He was a great Victorian.’