Former Australia batsman Dean Jones dies aged 59

Former Australia batsman Dean Jones died of a cardiac arrest in Mumbai on Thursday.
Former Australia batsman Dean Jones died of a cardiac arrest in Mumbai on Thursday.

MUMBAI — Former Australia batsman Dean Jones died of a cardiac arrest on Thursday, Indian broadcaster Star India reported. He was 59. Jones, regarded as one of the finest batsmen of his generation, was part of Australia's World Cup-winning team in 1987.

Jones was in Mumbai as part of Star India's commentary panel for the Indian Premier League. "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 India said.

"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 Australian cricket legend was in India working in the commentary booth for the IPL when it is believed he suffered a sudden heart attack, according to ESPNCricInfo.

Jones collapsed in a Mumbai hotel where fellow former cricketer Brett Lee was on the scene and performed CPR. He is understood to have collapsed around 7pm (AEST), according to The Australian.

“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.”

He played 52 Tests and 164 One-Day Internationals in an international career that spanned 10 years from 1984 to 1994.

Jones is best remembered for his performance in the tied Test against India in Chennai in 1986, when he battled extreme heat and physical exhaustion to notch a memorable double century.

He ended his career with 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.

Jones retired from all forms of cricket in 1998, going on to work as a coach and commentator. He was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019.

The sudden and shock death of Australian cricket legend Dean Jones has left the cricket world in stunned silence.

Former Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble paid tribute to Jones on Twitter. "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," Kumble said.

Reactions and tributes poured in as soon as the news of the demise of Dean Jones was out in public on Thursday as former cricketers and experts thanked him for his services to cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar tweeted: 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.

"Shocked to hear about the tragic loss of Dean Jones. Praying for strength and courage to his family and friends." Virat Kohli tweeted.

“At a loss of words to express my grief at the passing of a man who I admired a lot. Loved chatting cricket with him. Genuinely loved the sport. 59 is not an age to go....too soon my friend. Too soon. World of cricket will be poorer in your absence. R.I.P., Deano,” tweeted former Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra.

Ausstralia’s Darren Lehman weeted: So sad. RIP legend and love to his family , our thoughts are with them all xxxx, while David Warner said,

I can’t believe this news. So very sad to hear about this. Rip Deano, you will be missed, in his tweet,

Jimmy Neesham tweeted: Very sad to hear of the passing of Dean Jones. He was always a fantastic bloke to have a yarn with around a cricket field. I remember in Canada one of his stories was so funny I actually forgot to warm up to bowl pre-game. RIP.

And India’s Ravi Shastri said, really shocking to lose a colleague and a dear friend - Dean Jones. Gone so young. Condolences to the family and may his soul rest in peace #RIPDeanJones , in his tweet

Virendra Sehwag tweeted: Saddened to hear the news of Dean Jones passing away. Still cannot believe it. Was one of my favorite commentators, he was on air in many of my landmarks. Had really fond memories with him. Will miss him.

And the Chennai Super Kings tweeted, “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.”

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said they were devastated by the news of Jones' death. "On behalf of Pakistan cricket, the PCB offers its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and the entire cricket community," the PCB tweeted. — Agencies