Loyal Ipswich cricketer Wayne Jones.
Loyal Ipswich cricketer Wayne Jones.

Ipswich’s ‘Mr Cricket’ reveals best players and top advice


MIKE Hussey was known internationally as "Mr Cricket'' but Ipswich has its own Mr Cricket in Wayne "Jonesy" Jones.

In today's column, Jonesy shares his favourite cricketers from the local competition as well as offering some important advice to junior cricketers if they want to succeed.

Sporting achievements: Number one long distance runner in athletics and cross country in Queensland for my age throughout my high school (third for my age in Australia).

Number 11 on all-time rungetters list in the 127 year history of IWMCA with more than 6000 runs. Second in catches by a fielder and nithh overall if keepers are included. A life member at Central Districts Cricket Club.

Why got involved with cricket: Dad played for near on 30 years for Booval in the 1950s. He played with many legendary Ipswich cricketers. We had a big backyard so all our family and neighbourhood would come over to play some kind of sport whether it was cricket, soccer, tennis or league. I tried to join Booval as a 10 year-old but they were full so went down to Bundamba State School to join Waysiders under former Queensland fast bowler Col Cooke. I enjoyed it so much, continued on with them.

Favourite players: Locally - Plenty including Dom Salton, Vaughan Oldham, Stephen Humphreys, Alex Dell, Luke Smith, Jacob Sarra and Craig Mackay. They all had difficulties for various reasons on and off the field but have carried themselves very well and all had a crack. My favourite, however, is my long-time opening partner at Centrals Jason O'Sullivan. He's pretty witty with sledges from gully and calls a spade a back hoe. Always up for the fight no matter how desperate the situation is. He lets us know what is needed even if you don't want hear that advice. Always great fun off the field and great bloke as well.

Wayne Jones.
Wayne Jones.

Favourite coach: Locally, it's hard for me as I have been under only a few each with different styles to get the best out of you and the team. The late Kev Page and Col Cooke were big influences on my early career, while most kids who played cricket in Ipswich came through under the gaze of Nev Paulsen and his drills. Scott Barrett ticks the most boxes in my opinion. He is very good at managing the team but let's us do our own thing. He can be a hard taskmaster when we need it so that it will ensure victory.


Centrals Coach Scott Barrett and captain Wayne Jones after winning the first division premiership in 2018/19.
Centrals Coach Scott Barrett and captain Wayne Jones after winning the first division premiership in 2018/19.

Best piece of advice: Train hard then enjoy the mateship your sport gives you.

High/low points: Summit: 2017 - married and first premiership at Centrals. What a year that was. One for club faithful like Darion Parise (president) and every ex-player who tried to win that elusive premiership over the preceding 27 years.

2019 was also a fantastic year being with Scott Barrett and 3-4 guys from premiership team to return to the top despite our personnel losses in 2018.

I haven't really had low points as such, despite my long career. I have won a few wooden spoons, lost a lot finals over years and being dropped from teams but those things happen to most players in every sport. It's always been how to respond to those setbacks and not dwell on the events that led to them. Go out and prove the doubters wrong and redouble your own efforts

Sporting idol growing up: I didn't really have one but did admire the likes of Allan Border and Steve Waugh in cricket for their pragmatism and style when we were rebuilding in the mid 80s and early 90s. From other sports, Allan Langer and Wayne Carey (pre 2000) were champions where you could understand that despite their sizes, they used every ounce of their talent to lead their teams to victory on their shoulders alone.

Superstitions: None, utter rubbish. If you trained hard or laid down the groundwork in your task, you won't need too much luck or superstitions to get you to your goals. It will occur to you as naturally as it did in training.

Advice to juniors: Learn to play one shot really well, where you know when you are batting in a game, you can put down a boundary every time in the scorebook if a bowler bowls that type of ball to you. Then in senior cricket, bring in a new shot every season to improve your game and stay one step ahead those pesky bowlers. Same for the bowlers, get your one variation down pat in juniors, then in seniors introduce one variation to comfound the batsmen. Each year, you will grow as an all round cricketer.

Rugby League Ipswich return

RUGBY league returns to the playing fields of Ipswich next Saturday with junior and senior action set to take place.

Five junior clubs and six senior clubs have nominated to play in season 2020.

The junior clubs are West End, Norths, Redbank, Swifts and Goodna.

Senior clubs West End, Norths and Goodna will be grouped with three clubs that will be coming from the Toowoomba competition in Souths, Valleys and Gatton to compete in the Volunteers Cup.

Look out for a round one preview next week.

Quick thoughts

POSITIVES: 1. Cameron Smith has been the best hooker in the league for many years and Queensland can now take claim to having two of the brightest prospects for the future. Parramatta's Reed Mahoney and West Tigers Harry Grant are superstars on the rise.

2. Soccer fans finally got to see some A-League action with the competition restarting last weekend. Runaway leaders Sydney FC left off where they started earlier in the year with another emphatic win.

3. If you are an AFL fan, strap yourself in for 20 consecutive days of action as the league fights to get a full season in.

Negatives: 1. Who would want to be an NRL coach with Paul Green the latest coach to depart from his club. He joins Steve Kearney from the Warriors and Dean Pay from the Bulldogs who have already been axed by their repecctive clubs.

Another high profile coach is only hanging on by his fingernails.

Sporting birthdays: 1. 1947 - Zaheer Abbas (one of Pakistan's greatest ever batsmen).

2. 1963 - Karl Malone (American basketballer who is a NBA Hall of Famer).

3. 1964 - Barry Bonds (American baseballer who holds many records and won seven NL MVP awards).

4. 1965 - Andrew Gaze - One of Australia's greatest basketballers who attended four Olympic Games.

On this day: 1. 1902 - Australian batsman Victor Trumper scores a century before lunch against England.

2. 1931 - Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi breaks the two mile world record running 8.59.60.

3. 2019 - Hungarian swimmer Kristof Milak breaks Michael Phelps 10 year world record in the 200m butterfly swimming 1.50.73.