The cricket world has been rocked by the tragic death of Australian batting great Dean Jones.
Jones died of a heart attack in Mumbai, Indian TV broadcaster Star Sports announced in a statement.
He was 59.
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Jones was in Mumbai with the Star Sports’ commentary team 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 Sports said in a statement.
“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.
“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. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Cricket world in shock over Dean Jones tragedy
Jones played 52 Tests and 164 one-day internationals for Australia from 1984 to 1994, winning a World Cup in 1987.
Regarded as one of the finest batsmen of his generation, he scored 3631 runs in Tests at an average of 46.55, with 11 hundreds and 14 half-centuries.
He also amassed over 6000 runs in ODIs with seven centuries and 46 fifties.
Jones led the way for his aggression in the white-ball game during an era where teams were still cautious with their ODI batting.
But Jones still carved out an impressive Test career, with his epic 210 against India in Madras in 1986 etched in Australian cricket folklore.
Former Australia coach Bob Simpson said he had not “seen a braver innings”.
“He was running on adrenaline,” Simpson told Cricinfo.
“During breaks we would have one bloke waiting to take off his pads and another would strip him and put him in an ice bath just to try and revitalise him. It was immensely courageous.”
After his retirement, he worked as a coach and commentator and was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Hame in 2019.
Tributes are pouring in for one of the most popular batsmen of his generation, with Australian stars Steve Smith and David Warner, India captain Virat Kohli, and former Australia coach Darren Lehmann among the prominent figures to express their shock at the news.
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 https://t.co/AmVhQiNEe2— Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) September 24, 2020
😢❤️🙏 so sad. RIP legend and love to his family , our thoughts are with them all xxxx https://t.co/pLtolyDcZv— Darren Lehmann (@darren_lehmann) September 24, 2020
I can’t believe this news. So very sad to hear about this. Rip Deano, you will be missed. pic.twitter.com/Mc8h36gnWe— David Warner (@davidwarner31) September 24, 2020
Absolutely heartbreaking news about Dean Jones passing away.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) September 24, 2020
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
Shocked to hear about the tragic loss of Dean Jones. Praying for strength and courage to his family and friends. 🙏🏻— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 24, 2020
We are extremely shocked and sad to learn of the untimely demise of Mr. Dean Jones. His energy and enthusiasm for the game will be truly missed. Our thoughts with his family, friends and his followers in this hour of grief. pic.twitter.com/gAAagImKeC— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) September 24, 2020
In complete shock to hear about Dean Jones sad passing. One of a kind you were Deano and how lonely and helpless you must have felt on your own in that hotel room-a death we commentators fear the most, and likely to meet, helpless and gone in that hotel room...RIP my friend.— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) September 24, 2020
Tragic news. Rest in Peace, Professor. My condolences to the family of Dean Jones.— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) September 24, 2020
I’m sorry but this is awful, awful news. https://t.co/L2gITl62Cm— Peter Lalor (@plalor) September 24, 2020
I just wish this wasn’t true. So shocked and heartbroken to hear about the death of Dean Jones😭 cannot believe this— Imad Wasim (@simadwasim) September 24, 2020
I’m deeply shocked and saddened by the demise of our fellow commentator #DeanJones He was fine in the morning. I had video call with his son two days back. Everything was fine. Everything was normal. I can’t believe this #RIP— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) September 24, 2020
We will miss you & your voice, Professor. 🙏— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) September 24, 2020
Deeply saddened by the loss of commentator & former Aussie cricketer, Dean Jones. pic.twitter.com/L2nOSZdgkI
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. pic.twitter.com/mDHO0d76d0— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) September 24, 2020