In more terrible news from the year 2020, former Australian cricketer, coach and commentator Dean Jones has died at the age of 59. Residing in Mumbai to fulfill his broadcasting commitments with the Indian Premier League, he suffered a heart attack at a hotel in Mumbai after 12 PM on Thursday.
Breaking: Former Australia cricketer, coach and commentator Dean Jones has died at the age of 59. pic.twitter.com/2yXGdRg411
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) September 24, 2020
Deano, or Professor, as he was affectionately called, was adored by players and fans alike. He revolutionised one-day batting on the pitch and commentary, when behind the microphone, with his insightful analysis and demeanour. An illustrious career, both on and off the pitch, a following spanning generations, one that had watched him play, and the other that heard him in commentary.
Dean Jones played 59 tests and 164 one day internationals, averaging a stellar 46.55 in tests and 44.61 in the shorter format. He was a part of Australia’s 1987 World Cup-winning team. After fireworks on the field, he carved a career in coaching and cricket commentary after his retirement from all forms of the game in 1997-98. It wouldn’t be off mark to state that Dean Jones changed ODI batting.
Dean Jones, an ODI legend.
He changed the way the game was played. pic.twitter.com/b4bU4psiW9
— ICC (@ICC) September 24, 2020
Tributes have poured in from all over the world, to honour the memory of a cricketing great. It was only yesterday during the IPL game between the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders, that Sanjay Bangar and Dean Jones were joking about who was better equipped to join an IPL franchise as an analyst. His sudden demise leaves the world of cricket in shock. A sentiment shared by former Indian captain and coach, Anil Kumble.
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. 🙏🏽
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) September 24, 2020
“Absolutely heartbreaking news about Dean Jones passing away. A wonderful soul taken away too soon,” said the little master, Sachin Tendulkar.
Absolutely heartbreaking news about Dean Jones passing away.
A wonderful soul taken away too soon. Had the opportunity to play against him during my first tour of Australia.
May his soul rest in peace and my condolences to his loved ones. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/u6oEY1h7zz
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) September 24, 2020
Former Aussie cricketer Mel Jones threw light on Dean’s contribution to the game, from his running between the wickets, the ability to manipulate the field, the energy he had in the field and his contribution to the development of many young players. There are some things that statistics will never be able to capture, and one of them is Deano’s influence on the modern game.
Stats are great but they don’t say how he, like not a lot of others, changed the way the game was played.The speed btw wickets, the ability to manipulate the field the energy in the field and the development of so many other players. What a contribution to the game. #RIPDeano https://t.co/Th1hA54MtF
— Mel Jones (@meljones_33) September 24, 2020
Australian batsman Steve Smith also expressed his grief.
“Always a larger than life personality,” remarked former Aussie player Damien Fleming.
Stunned by the news of Dean Jones’s passing
Always a Larger then life personality
Condolences to Jane and family #RIPDeano
— Damien Fleming (@bowlologist) September 24, 2020
Glenn Maxwell recollected the time he had a Dean Jones poster in his room as a kid, and how he was lucky to have him as a batting coach in the Big Bash League.
Incredibly shocked by the news that Dean Jones has passed away. Had a poster of the great man in my room as a kid. And was lucky to have him as a batting coach 1st year of BBL. Thoughts are with his family at this extremely tough time. #RIPDeano
— Glenn Maxwell (@Gmaxi_32) September 24, 2020
Dean Jones had a lasting impact on fans and budding cricketers. “We wanted to play like him, be him,” said Adam White.
The canary yellow, the baggy green, the navy blue, the zinc on the lip, the sweat band, the County, then the Kookaburra, the running between the wickets, the lofted on drive, the sunglasses, the confidence.
We wanted to play like him, be him.
He was our dreams.
Now the shock. pic.twitter.com/RNzDTpFecX
— Adam White (@White_Adam) September 24, 2020
Fellow commentator Scott Styris was short of words to express his sadness. Over the years, he and Deano had built up the Star Sports Dugout show that was cherished by fans for its analysis and entertainment factor. The Kiwi-Aussie rivalry was loved by all, as they kept pulling each other’s leg and let taunts fly, making cricket commentary less dull and bland. The partnership has been broken, and it will be missed.
— Scott Styris (@scottbstyris) September 24, 2020
“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,” Star Sports said in a statement.
“Going, going… gone” was one of his most famous quips in commentary, while describing a monstrous six. While fans craved to hear that when they were glued to their TV sets, they are gutted today thinking about those moments. You’ve gone too soon, Professor. The world of cricket is a lot poorer today, and it is going to miss you. Rest in peace.