'He has paid enough penalty' August 11, 2006

Border stands by Jones

Cricinfo staff

Allan Border has given his former team-mate a glowing character reference © Getty Images

Allan Border believes Dean Jones has already been punished enough for his on-air description of South Africa's Hashim Amla as a "terrorist". Border, who captained Jones throughout his career, said his former team-mate was responsible for breaking down barriers in the 1980s when there was "angst between the Australians, Pakistanis and Indians".

"He got to know those players very well," Border said in The Courier-Mail. "He has always enjoyed playing and being in the subcontinent and the differences between their nations and ours. We have a brashness about the way we play our cricket and there was always suspicions from those nations. Deano helped change that. Let's get it right about his character."

Border, an Australian selector, believed the South African players "jokingly" referred to Amla the same way as Jones had when he thought viewers of the Ten Sports telecast were on an advertisement break. Jones was sacked the same day and returned to Australia on an early morning flight, offering apologies before he left and after he landed.

"It was an in-house joke you would never say publicly," Border said. "And Deano wasn't meaning for it to be public. It was said in a jovial manner and it backfired terribly. Deservedly he has got a rap over the knuckles and a good kick up the backside."

Border said Jones was known for "leading with his chin" but felt this was a "joke gone wrong". "The guy does a lot of work for charity," he said. "He did a charity walk which raised over a million dollars.

"He did not go to South Africa when the money was on offer [in the 1980s]. He stayed loyal to Australia and was not enamoured with the politics over there [in South Africa]. He has paid enough penalty and let's get on with it." The paper also reported Jones would not be punished by the ICC.