Dean's making the grade

CRICKET

BATHURST cricket export Jono Dean crossed a major landmark this season when he notched up his 5000th run in grade cricket across his Sydney and Canberra careers and he isn’t done yet.

Technically speaking he had already notched the landmark in high-level cricket when you factor in his runs scored for the ACT in various representative competitions, including the current Futures League where the Comets are enjoying their best season in memory.

Factoring in some unrecorded runs for St George, he has well and truly passed the 5000-run barrier.

He needs another 181 to cross the total at grade level having spent time with St George in the Sydney competition before linking with Queanbeyan in the nation’s capital.

“It might actually be more than that, I think a few of the seasons I had with St George didn’t get recorded on [website] Mycricket but it is still nice to know,” Dean said after being made aware of the figure, one he was oblivious to when he reached it.

Since leaving Bathurst he has had success with the famous St George club, but has taken things to another level in Canberra.

He has played in an ACT Invitational XI against India, has been involved in Prime Minister’s XI games and has become one of the most dynamic top order players for the Comets who he captains.

So far this season the Comets have had two wins in the Futures League where they play against a mixture of under 23s and fringe Sheffield Shield players from the major states. That in itself is a big achievement having gone winless 2011-12.

Those wins have come in spite of losing former shield player and star all-rounder Mark Higgs, who now coaches the team.

“Personally I think I could have done a bit better so far this season, I’ve not been getting the really big scores and I’ve found some strange ways to get out, but you go through periods like that,” Dean said.

“Hopefully in the new year I can put some scores on the board, a couple of centuries would be nice.

“From a Comets point of view it has been a fantastic season, we got smashed in the opening round by NSW but we’ve bounced back well with a couple of wins, the one against South Australia was very pleasing. We have a good, young group and they’re only going to improve.”

At club level it has been an interesting summer to date for Dean, who’s brother Blake left the Queanbeyan side to play with Tuggeranong. The two siblings happened to draw one another in the quarter-finals of the NSW-ACT SCG Cup competition in which Queanbeyan were the defending champions, though ultimately Jono was unavailable for his side.

Tuggeranong won that battle before bowing out in the semi-finals.

The two sides squared off in a first grade match as well, and things didn’t end well for Jono.

“They flogged us,” he said.

“We had a bit of a clean out at the end of last season, we lost about eight players and Blake was one of them. He’s a good player and he’ll fit in anywhere he plays. I think he just needed a bit of a change.

“I wasn’t too happy about him leaving at first, but he’s done well since making the move and it has done wonders for his cricket.”

Jono Dean has been on the cusp of a genuine career highlight for the last two seasons with the Perth Scorchers (2011-12) and Melbourne Renegades (2012-13), both having him in extended squads for the Big Bash League but it hasn’t led to him getting a game yet.

“The Renegades are going well at the moment and have only dropped one game I think, so they aren’t likely to change their line-up too much at the moment whereas if I was with a team like the Sydney Thunder, they’re struggling and changing their side a lot,” he said.

“If they do get through to the final then they get a spot in the Champions League and I’m still in contention for a spot, so fingers crossed.”

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