Dean Jones was one of a rare breed of Australian cricketer who enjoyed laughing at his own expense rather than others'.
As a cricketer, he was a peacock and the guy other teams loved to get out more than most; as a commentator he was tolerated rather than celebrated; but as a raconteur and character he was embraced – even on this side of the Tasman.
Jones' battles with cricketing great Sir Richard Hadlee were legendary. Jones, with his lips covered in zinc, his incessant gum chewing and ability to talk himself up, was one of the few men whose offences the great New Zealand cricketer took personally.
"Hadlee's just another bowler," Jones once said on the eve of the 1987-88 transtasman test series.
Hadlee was listening. In a series where a lot of runs were scored, Jones totaled 52 and was dismissed by Hadlee for 2, 0 and 4. Of his second-test duck on a batsman's paradise at Adelaide, Hadlee said: "He was lucky to get zero."
Jones' response was in keeping with his personality. "The ball was swinging and nipping around; lesser batsmen wouldn't have been able to get bat on it. He got me out four [sic] times, Buckingham Palace heard about it and they knighted him."
Jones was a wonderful player, particularly in one-day cricket where he hurt New Zealanders more than they hurt him, but he was more than that. He was the sort of character who ensures cricket remains the game with the richest fund of stories.
His death of a heart attack at age 59 - while overseas working in the sport he loved, and one that eventually loved him back – leaves a big hole.