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Jones sullied Australia's reputation

Cricket pundit Dean Jones was accused of tarnishing the country's repute for racial tolerance by offensive comments on TV.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2006 14:51 IST

Cricket pundit Dean Jones wasaccused of tarnishing Australia's reputation for racial tolerance after labelling a South African Muslim player a 'terrorist' during a Test in Sri Lanka.

Jones was sacked by his TV employers after saying on air "the terrorist has got another wicket" when bearded Muslim Hashim Amla caught Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara during the second Test in Colombo on Monday.

Jones' return home in disgrace made front-page news across Australia, with the Melbourne Age declaring "Gone! Deano caught out by 'terrorist' remark" and the Sydney Morning Herald headlining its story "Me and my big mouth."

Sydney's Daily Telegraph detailed other foot-in-mouth moments by Australian-based commentators, including Tony Greig's remark "Do you think she's been flown in?" when the camera panned to a wedding between a Filipina woman and Caucasian man during an idle moment in a Sydney cricket match.

The Herald said in a comment piece that Jones' outburst deserved condemnation and displayed a serious problem in Australian sport that needed to be addressed.

"Yet again a racism controversy has rattled international sport. And, yet again, an Australian is at its epicentre," it said.

"Racial insensitivity is a 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.

First Published: Aug 09, 2006 14:51 IST