'I'm just living on the edge ... that's the way I commentate'

Dean Jones returns to the microphone

Cricinfo staff

September 26, 2006

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Dean Jones: 'In the long run, I wasn't even really referring to him' © Getty Images
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Dean Jones, the former Australia batsman turned commentator, will return to the microphone after being sacked last month for an offensive remark he made while commentating on the second Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa in August.

When South Africa's Hashim Amla, a devout Muslim, took the catch to dismiss Kumar Sangakkara, Jones was heard to say "the terrorist has got another wicket" although he maintained that it was an off-air jest to his fellow commentators.

He was subsequently dismissed by Ten Sports, but has found employment with Australia's Southern Cross radio, with whom he has signed a two-year contract, and he will also work for an Indian network for the 2007 World Cup.

"I've been asked to come back already for next year," Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I've been asked to come back for the Champions Trophy and work in India but fortunately I've been booked to do many other things - coaching, appearances and all that through October - and I didn't want to cancel them. So it's sort of done and dusted a little bit now.

"Two other networks have been after me but I don't want to say who. [Commentating] is where I make most of my dough, so I'll definitely be going back. We've got the World Cup coming up."

He added that he had spoken to Amla "three times and everything's fine". He added: "In the long run, I wasn't even really referring to him. What was my comment? And who got the wicket? Amla got the catch, Nicky Boje was the bowler. Just listen to the comment. The terrorist got a wicket. Who got the wicket? I'll leave it up to you to work out who I was referring to.

"It wasn't a planned remark. It's not like journalists who have time to write things up, to look at it and contemplate which way to go. I'm just living on the edge all the time and that's the way I commentate. Whether I was tired or whatever, that's no excuse. The person I'm most disappointed in is myself. I was taught the first time I ever worked with Richie Benaud to be careful because the microphones were always on."

The issue caused outrage in South Africa with viewers jamming the switchboards of Cricket South Africa and Supersport, whose feed broadcast the gaffe to South African audiences.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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