Former Australia batsman Dean Jones, one of the finest exponents of ODI cricket, died of a sudden cardiac arrest in Mumbai on Thursday.
Jones, 59, was in Mumbai with the Star Sports’ commentary team for the Indian Premier League. He was in a bio-bubble in a city hotel. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Jones played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs for Australia and was part of the 1987 World Cup winning team.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Mr Dean Mervyn Jones AM. He died of a sudden cardiac arrest,” Star Sports said in a press release.
“We express our deep condolences to his family and stand ready to support them in this difficult time. We are in touch with the Australian High Commission to make the necessary arrangements,” the release added.
According to an IPL source, it happened in matter of seconds. “Deano was standing in the hotel lobby and he suddenly collapsed. Brett Lee was standing by his side. Brett tried to revive him by applying CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) but he didn’t respond,” said the source.
“He was then taken to Harkisan Das Hospital in Girgaon where he was announced dead on arrival.”
Jones’ family is in Melbourne and the Australian High Commission is in touch with them.
A player well ahead of his time, Jones scored over ODI 6068 runs at an average of 44.61 with seven hundred and 46 fifties.
For Indian fans, he will forever remain in their memory for the historic tied Test in Chepauk, where he laid the foundation of a big Australian score with an unbeaten double hundred in challenging conditions.
There was an iconic picture of Jones throwing up while batting and so severely dehydrated he was that he had to be admitted to a hospital during the course of the Test match.
There is a famous anecdote from that Test match when Jones was suffering from cramps. “I want a tough Tasmanian and not a weak Victorian,” was what Border said, something that spurred Jones on.
The Tasmanians are considered tough and aggressive and Border’s reference to David Boon.
In ODI cricket and those numerous World Series Cup matches on Australia’s Channel 9, Jones, clad in yellow jersey and the lips lined with zinc cream is still etched in memories of the late 80s and early 90s generation.
In ODI cricket, he would often charge down the track against fast bowlers and hitting them over in-field. He played a match winning knock against India in the 1992 World Cup in Brisbane, a thriller that India lost by one run.
In his post retirement life he performed the role of a cricket analyst for various channels, primarily in South Asia — India and Pakistan, where he was immensely popular.
One of the Indian news channels named him “Professor Deano”, a moniker that stuck with him and was also his twitter handle.
He could polarise opinion and would often get trolled. He also once courted controversy for calling Hashim Amla “terrorist” on air, a light-hearted comment but the racist undertone forced the particular broadcaster to take him off air.
His online banter with fellow commentator and Trans Tasman all-rounder Scott Styris was enjoyed and lapped up by new generation of cricket followers