Dean Jones’s three-month spell with Durham CCC in their inaugural first-class cricket season of 1992 will never be forgotten by those lucky enough to see the Australian player wear the county sweater with such pride, panache and enthusiasm.
The club’s first home game – a Sunday League bash with Lancashire at Durham University’s Racecourse ground – was decided by Ian Botham’s dramatic, final-over run out of Lancashire’s last man, Warren Hegg. It was, however, Jones’s immaculate knock of 114 that won the hearts of the locals. With many of the 5,500 crowd clad in their Sunderland or Newcastle United football shirts, the warring factions came together in celebratory chants of “Deano, Deano”. Durham had arrived. Jones helped take them there.