Ponting applauds Dean for fast knock
PM's XI batsman Jono Dean has the backing of West indies blaster Chris Gayle. Photo: Melissa Adams
The brutality of his Prime Minister's XI knock was likened to that of a ''right-handed David Warner'' and earned the admiration of former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting.
But Cricket ACT high performance manager Andrew Dawson believes ACT Comets skipper Jono Dean has fallen victim to state cricket's ''lack of respect'' for the Futures League system.
Dawson has no doubt Dean, who smashed a superb 51 off 40 balls opening the batting at Manuka Oval on Tuesday, is a better talent than a number of current state-contracted players.
He insists the 28-year-old has slipped through the net because of state talent scouts' insular recruiting policies, and is adamant Dean should get a start in next summer's Big Bash League.
''I have no issues with saying Jono's definitely better than some guys on state contracts right now, and there's one or two guys with BBL contracts this year … again Jono's a better batter,'' Dawson said.
''You'd like to think they'd have that Moneyball mentality, look into whether somebody is performing and statistics, instead of just going, 'He's playing Sydney grade cricket, let's pick him'.''
''I don't think people respect the second XI competition well enough and go, 'OK, Jono Dean has done very well the last few years, let's get this lad into the system'.''
Dawson pointed to South Australia's successful gamble to pluck Nathan Lyon from the Comets' system before his Test career blossomed as proof it can be done.
''We'd love to see a few more of those BBL franchises [do the same],'' he said.
''Let's be honest, Sydney Thunder were the laughing stock of the BBL. Why not give him [Dean] a crack? What do they have to lose?''
ACT-based players traditionally bat down the order, but Dean received his chance to open after Comets player Mark Higgs convinced national selection panel member Andrew Bichel he deserved the opportunity.
Dean admitted he was nervous beforehand, but settled down once he hit the first ball he faced for four.
His opening partner, Test hopeful Usman Khawaja, played second fiddle as Dean smashed eight fours and two sixes.
''[Big Bash] is a box I'd like to tick, and I see myself having an impact in that form of the game,'' Dean said. ''Hopefully something comes of this. If not I'll just keep doing the things I've been doing and try my best.''
Ponting praised Dean after the match, crediting him for laying the foundation for their huge 333 total.
''He played beautifully, I'd never seen him play before, he hit them pretty well in the nets and carried that on to the middle and got us off to a flying start,'' he said.
''It was a bit disappointing when he got out.
''No doubt [he could play in the BBL]. Some of the shots he hit today, I'm sure there'd probably be a few people on the phone to him over the next few days.''
West Indies opener Keiran Powell, who retired hurt with cramps on 92, also endorsed Dean as a Big Bash prospect. ''He's a right-handed David Warner, he just kept on smashing everything to the boundary,'' he said.
He should fit in [to the BBL] quite comfortably from what I saw today. He seems the Big Bash player, I don't know why he hasn't got one.''
Dean and younger brother Blake earned spots on Melbourne's Renegades supplementary players list this season, and Renegades coach Simon Helmot said both remain on their radar.
''Obviously we'll be looking to recruit and finalise our list over the next six to eight months, with his performance yesterday it certainly bolsters his prospects.''