Terrorist remark was directed to Boje, says Deano

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney: In a new twist to the Dean Jones-Hashim Amla controversy, the former Aussie batsman has said his infamous on-air ''terrorist'' remark was not directed at Amla but to his South African teammate Nicky Boje.

Jones lost his 2000 dollar-a-day commentating contract with Dubai-based Ten Sports last month, after microphones picked him up saying ''the terrorist has got another wicket'' when bearded Amla, a Muslim, took a catch in a Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Jones had apologised for his off-the-cuff comment but was sacked.

He now says he was referring to bowler Boje, not Amla, the fieldsman.

''I wasn't even really referring to him (Amla). 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,'' Jones was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald .

With the outrage the remark generated, it seemed Jones' commentating career was over, but the 45-year-old Aussie revealed that he had been re-employed as commentator by two Indian television networks, which he declined to name.

''I've been asked to come back already for next year,'' he said.

Jones said he had declined an offer of work during next month's ICC Champions Trophy in India because of other commitments in Australia.

He said he would be commentating for India on the World Cup in the Caribbean next year and had signed a two-year contract with Southern Cross Radio in Australia.

Jones, who played 52 Tests for Australia between 1984 and 1992, said he believed he had been forgiven for the remark.

''It's an unfortunate situation and I've apologised. In my humble opinion, the Muslim cricket community has accepted my apology for what was a silly off-the-cuff remark.'' Jones said his family had suffered because of the controversy.

''It was an ugly time, particularly for my kids. They copped a bit at school, I must admit. But it (the support) has been awesome, particularly from people in Pakistan and India and the subcontinent,'' he added.

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