July 19, 2010

Lovechild costs Deano parenting award

Kanishkaa Balachandran

Dean Jones is prone to bouts of controversy, and his latest involves a child born out of wedlock. Jones, the former Australian batsman, recently admitted to having a one-year-old son with a Sydney-based air hostess, and as a result was promptly stripped of a parenting award he received three years ago.

Jones was named Father of the Year in 2007 in his home state of Victoria, in recognition of his work with the Bone Marrow Institute, as well as for being a good father. But the awards council wasn’t too thrilled with his act of infidelity, which he admitted to after learning he would be exposed on a television current affairs show in Australia.

"From now on, 2007 will simply show as blank - that's our attitude," Father of the Year Council president Don Parsons said. "To take off and have a lovechild, and that he hasn't even seen the child... We are somewhat rocked by it. What sort of fathering is that?"

Jones has been married to his wife Jane for 24 years and has two teenage daughters. His affair with Kerri-Anne Hamilton reportedly began in the late 1990s.

Jones also hit the headlines for the wrong reasons when he referred to South Africa’s Hashim Amla as a “terrorist” while commentating in 2006. Since then he has literally donned new hats, offering cricket analysis for an Indian news channel posing as an eccentric academic.

Can Professor Deano come up with a formula to wriggle out of this controversy?

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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