In a tragic incident that hit the cricket fraternity on September 24, former Australian cricketer Dean Jones left the world shockingly. He collapsed in front of the ace Australian pacer and his dear colleague Bret Lee. The pacer tried to revive Jones as many times as possible, he even tried CPR, but it was of use, and the massive heart attack took away Jones.
‘Lived his life with every bit of energy’ – Jane Jones’ tribute to husband Dean Jones. A major commemorative celebration will take place for Jones, with his wife indicating that the family was eager for his life and contribution to so many would be rightly and appropriately recognized in memoriam.
“My girls and I are devastated and saddened beyond belief to hear of Dean’s death in India,” Jane Jones said in a statement. “My beautiful husband, the love of my life has lived his life with every bit of energy at his disposal, and he leaves an enormous gap in our lives which can never be filled. He leaves us with so many wonderful memories that will last forever.
Some cricketers made more runs. Some had better averages. But no Australian player of his time created more excitement or won more devotion than Dean Jones. A transformative and captivating batsman, especially in the one-day format where he led the world in his pomp during the late 1980s and early 90s, Jones earned iconic status for his sparkling footwork, effervescent strokeplay, bold running between wickets, and the strip of zinc cream always pasted on his bottom lip.
Hours after former Australian cricketer and commentator Dean Jones succumbed to a massive cardiac arrest in a Mumbai hotel, Kiran More was in a state of shock. “We had met for breakfast and I later saw him running in the hotel hallway, something he always did in the bio-secure environment. I even threw a pillow at him in jest. He was then going up to his room as he had called a person to fix his laptop…that person later told me that Jones had suddenly fallen on the floor,” the former India player said.
Sachin Tendulkar has no doubts in his mind that Dean Jones would have been one of the “most sought after batsmen” if he were to be part of the T20 generation and called him a player well ahead of his time. The 59-year-old former Australia batsman died of cardiac arrest in a Mumbai hotel on Thursday. He was in India as a part of the host broadcaster’s commentary panel. Tendulkar, who fondly remembers his on-field battles during the Australia tour of 1991-92, said he would be glued to the TV set as a young cricketer when Jones batted. Such was his fearless style of play that he would have excelled in T20 cricket, feels the Indian legend.
“He would have been hundred percent one of the most popular T20 players without any doubt,” Tendulkar told PTI during a conversation, his voice tinged with sadness.
“We talk about innovations but remember some shots that are being played today, the earlier generations have also played, well before even we started and Deano was one of them,” he said.
He remembered the 1986 tied Test. He was 13 and a trainee at Ramakant Achrekar’s academy at Shivaji Park Gymkhana and how Jones’ 210 made all the youngsters interested in the Australian. “I remember I was 13 when the tied Test happened and he scored that double hundred.
“When I went to Australia for the first time in 91-92, they were a great team. There was David Boon, Geoff Marsh, Steve Waugh, Bruce Reid and Craig McDer mott but for us in the Indian team, there were two players we spoke about most– AB (skipper Allan Border) and Deano (Dean Jones). “Literally No 1 and 2 key players for us and then there was McDermott,” Tendulkar recollected.
Dean Jones is a former Australian cricketer, born in Coburg, Victoria on 24 March 1961. This right-handed batsman was a part of the 1987 World Cup-winning Australian squad. He also played the 1992 World Cup. Dean Jones made his international debut in an ODI against Pakistan in Adelaide on 30 January 1984. He remained not out on 40 playing 47 balls. Australia went on to win the match by 70 runs.
Due to his great batting technique and fielding, he was picked in the Test team for the first time just a month and a half after his ODI debut. Against West Indies, he played even after being not well himself. He scored 48 runs in the 1st innings. He believed that innings was one of the toughest. Besides being part of Australia’s resurgence under Allan Border, Jones carved a niche for himself in the 50-over game. He was part of Australia’s 1987 World Cup-winning unit, and his international career spanned from 1984 to 1994.
After retiring from First-Class cricket in 1998, Jones became a commentator. Besides big-ticket events, he traveled all over the cricketing globe, be it Afghanistan, UAE, or regional T20 leagues in TN and Karnataka. However, for all his tenacity, it was his rollicking approach to batting in limited-overs cricket that made him a trendsetter in that format. Seldom had one seen a batsman skipping down the wicket to lift fast bowlers over the infield. Jones had the pluck and the cheek to do that against the quickest in business. He perfected the art of accelerating through the overs, with plenty of practice in the yearly three-nation tournaments held in Australia. During the initial phase of his career, he struggled against top-quality spin bowling in places like Sharjah and the sub-continent. But by the time Reliance World Cup was hosted in India and Pakistan in 1987, he had gained enough experience to score over 300 runs with three half-centuries, averaging in the mid-forties. He was one of the architects of the Australian triumph in the tournament.