Dean Jones, the former Australia Test batsman named cricketer of the year in 1990, was fired from his television commentary job after referring to South African player Hashim Amla as a “terrorist” during a live broadcast.
Jones, 45, was part of a team calling the second Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa in Colombo for broadcaster TEN Sports. He had his contract terminated following a complaint by South African cricket officials, TEN Sports spokesman Jude de Valliere said in a telephone interview from Colombo.
“TEN sports has apologized to Hashim, Cricket South Africa, Sri Lanka Cricket, the International Cricket Council and millions of viewers,” the broadcaster said today in a statement. “Sport has no room for such an act.”
According to Cricket South Africa, Jones was heard to say “the terrorist has got another wicket” after Amla, a South African Muslim of Indian descent, took a catch to dismiss Kumar Sangakkara yesterday. The governing body also reported the matter to the ICC.
“It was a silly and completely insensitive thing to say and, obviously, it was never supposed to be heard over the air,” Jones told reporters before leaving Sri Lanka. “I am truly sorry to have caused offence to anybody and the last thing I intended was to be disrespectful. It does not represent who I am, how I think or what I believe.”
Jones said he would apologize to Amla, who wears a beard for religious reasons and has an agreement with SABMiller Plc, the South African team’s main sponsor, not to wear its Castle Lager brand logo on his playing and practice uniforms.