Dean Jones: Former Australia batsman and commentator dies aged 59

Written by on 24/09/2020

Former Australia cricketer and commentator Dean Jones has died from a heart attack in Mumbai at the age of 59.

Jones, regarded as one of the finest batsmen of his generation, played 52 Tests and 164 one-day internationals for Australia in an international career that spanned 10 years between 1984 and 1994.

Star India, for whom Jones was a commentator, said via a statement: “It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Dean Mervyn Jones AM. He died of a sudden cardiac arrest. We express our deep condolences to his family and stand ready to support them in this difficult time.

“Dean Jones was one of the great ambassadors of the game associating himself with cricket development across South Asia. He was passionate about discovering new talent and nurturing young cricketers.

“He was a champion commentator whose presence and presentation of the game always brought joy to millions of fans. He will be sorely missed by everyone at Star and his millions of fans across the globe.”

Jones scored 3,631 runs in Tests, at an average of 46.55 with 11 hundreds and 14 half-centuries, and over 6,000 runs in ODIs with seven centuries and 46 fifties.

After his retirement, he worked as a coach and commentator and was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019.

‘A hero to a generation of cricketers’

Earl Eddings, Chair of Cricket Australia, said Jones would be sorely missed by cricket fans around the world.

“Dean Jones was a hero to a generation of cricketers and will forever be remembered as a legend of this great game,” Eddings said.

“Anyone who watched cricket in the 1980s and 1990s will fondly recall his cavalier approach at the crease and the incredible energy and passion he brought to every game he played.

“Although many remember him for his brilliance in the 50-over game, arguably Jones’ finest moment in the national team came in scorching conditions in Chennai in 1986, where his selfless and courageous innings of 210 helped Australia to a famous tie against India.

“Jones remained an immensely popular figure in Australian and Victorian cricket throughout his life and was a much-loved columnist and commentator in every corner of the cricketing world.

“This is a truly sad day. Deano’s loss will be felt not just at home in Australia, but across the globe. Our thoughts and best wishes are with his wife Jane and daughters Isabella and Phoebe.”

‘He was a pioneer’

Former England captain Michael Atherton said Jones was a pioneer in cricket and “played the game as it would become in the years after he would retire”.

“I think everybody admired the way he played the game,” Atherton told Sky Sports News. “He was a real dasher, he played with great confidence, style and a bit of a swagger.

“He was a key part of the renaissance of Australian cricket, really, in the late 1980s.

“He was a pioneer really in one-day cricket. The way he played – he was a hard-running, hard-hitting, middle-order batsman – was a little bit ahead of his time in some ways.

“He’d have been absolutely a brilliant player in this day and age, with Twenty20 cricket so dominant and one-day cricket a little more dominant than Test cricket, unlike when he played.”

‘A colossal loss’

The cricket community has paid tribute to Jones on social media, with Australia batsman Steve Smith posting on Twitter: “Awful to hear the news of Dean Jones passing away in Mumbai. He was a wonderful player for Australia and he will be missed. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Deano”

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said he was “heartbroken” by the news of Jones’ passing.

“He was someone I looked up to and emulated growing up, and then I was lucky to become close friends with him later on,” Ponting posted on his official Twitter account.

“He was always great fun to be around and I loved the time I spent with him talking cricket and golf. RIP mate.”

Chennai Super Kings said: “Absolutely devastated to hear about the demise of Dean Jones. A colossal loss to the cricketing community. His connection to Chepauk will always be cherished. Deepest condolences to his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace.”

India captain Virat Kohli posted: “Shocked to hear about the tragic loss of Dean Jones. Praying for strength and courage to his family and friends.”

Former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble said: “Shocking news. This year gets even worse. Was joking with Deano last week about carrying a red book with me to the match. Terrible… My heartfelt condolences to the family.”

Sky Sports pundit and former Ireland international Niall O’Brien said: “It’s extremely sad – devastating news for the cricketing family. I had the pleasure of working with him for a couple of years.

“He was a wonderful cricketer and a wonderful man. He was excellent company always – a popular and dynamic figure – and he was also a very good coach.”

(c) Sky Sports 2020: Dean Jones: Former Australia batsman and commentator dies aged 59

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