Melbourne: In a sensational revelation, former Australian cricketer Dean Jones on Sunday said that he fathered a child outside his marriage but insisted that he was not involved in any legal tangle with the yet-to-be named mother.
Jones said he has a son, aged about one, after an “on-and-off relationship” with a Sydney woman.
49-year-old Jones’ revelation came after Channel Nine said it would publicly expose him on its programme ‘A Current Affair’.
“Following an on-and-off relationship with a woman, a child was conceived and subsequently delivered,” Jones was quoted as saying by ‘The Age’.
“My immediate aim is to seek the forgiveness and understanding of my family,” said Jones, who has two daughters with wife Jane.
Jones, who played 52 Tests and 164 one-day internationals before retiring in 1994, said he was unaware of any legal claim against him and maintained he had met every financial obligation.
“I can also confirm that I have supported the mother and child more generously than was agreed. At no stage, have I not met my obligations,” he said.
According to the newspaper, the child’s mother, who is yet to be named, is believed to have taken legal action as part of a battle over child support.
“It only became a story because a baby was born to his mistress about 12 months ago and there was a question mark over paternity,” the newspaper quoted ‘A Current Affair’ reporter Ben Fordham as saying.
“He (Jones) was questioning whether he was the father. Then when a DNA test revealed he was the dad, he was asking the question whether he should actually have to pay child support. So this issue turned into a child support battle, papers have now been lodged in the courts,” he said.
Controversy followed Jones throughout his cricketing career. At the peak of his career between 1989 and 1992 he was regarded as the world’s best limited-overs batsman. But his forthrightness, extroverted nature and colourful off-field ways did not always endear him to teammates and the national selectors.
He courted trouble when he referred to South African batsman Hashim Amla, a devout Muslim with a full beard, as a “terrorist” during a commentary stint.