BIG Bash League champion – Bathurst cricket graduate Jono Dean says it feels “awesome” to be able to use those four words in reference to himself.
On Sunday in front of a huge home crowd at Adelaide Oval, Dean and his Adelaide Strikers beat the Hobart Hurricanes by 25 runs to take out the seventh edition of the national Twenty20 competition.
Though Dean, who was listed at number seven, did not get to bat and did not have a lot to do in the field – though he did throw down the stumps at one stage attempting to run out D’Arcy Short – the former Rugby Union Cricket Club player was happy just to be involved.
“It’s quite surreal to be honest. You always hope when you go into a season that you can win and when you get in a final you think you’re a chance to win, but to actually do it was amazing,” he said.
“I really didn’t do anything last night, I think I only touched the ball twice, I just got a sore neck from watching Jakey Weatherald smack the ball everywhere.
“I’ve been involved in two semi-final losses as 12th man, so just to get in the 11 for the semi-final and then the final and get the win – it was awesome.
“I has been an incredible five years for me [with the Strikers] and if this my last, to go out on a high like this, so be it.”
Weatherald hit an impressive 115 off 70 deliveries opening the batting to help the Strikers to 2-202 off their 20 overs. They the held the Hurricanes to 5-177 to earn the franchise its maiden BBL crown.
“Our bowling has been our strength the whole season, so we were always going to back ourselves to defend 200,” Dean said.
In Friday’s tense one-run semi-final win against the Melbourne Renegades, Dean blasted 19 off eight deliveries opening the batting. It included a pair of leg-side sixes.
Then in the field, he took a superb catch to send the dangerous Dwyane Bravo (26 off 17) on his way.
“It was good to get us off to quite a quick start – it would’ve been nice to stay in a bit longer – but to get some runs and then take a good catch at a pretty crucial time in that game, yeah, it was pretty awesome,” he said.