August 8, 2006

Another racism controversy for Australia

Peter English

The “terrorist” outburst of Dean Jones is analysed heavily in Australian papers, with Alex Brown writing in the Sydney Morning Herald that the incident hints at a national problem.

Yet again a racism controversy has rattled international cricket. And, yet again, an Australian is at its epicentre. When Dean Jones labelled Hashim Amla, a coloured South African batsman and devout Muslim, a "terrorist" on air this week, he not only lost his tax-free $US2000 ($2615)-a-day contract with his Dubai-based employer but hinted at a national problem - one that will further deteriorate unless it is acknowledged and acted upon.

Racial insensitivity is real and a serious issue in Australian sport. Unsavoury? Perhaps. But it's better to be stung by the truth than appeased by a distortion of it.

In the Herald Sun Ron Reed defends Dean Jones, who he has known since he was a 17-year-old.

It's not hard to find people in the game who dislike his loud and proud, super-confident and sometimes abrasive style. There has been no shortage of friction along the way. But never before has he been accused of racism.

Or if he has, it's completely escaped me - and I've known him well and watched his highly successful international career from close quarters since he was a 17-year-old batting prodigy at the Carlton Cricket Club.

Neil Manthorp, writing on the Super Cricket site, has this to say.

Peter English is former Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo

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