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Former Australia batsman and renowned commentator Dean Jones has tragically passed away at the age of 59 after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest in Mumbai.
Jones was working in India as one of the panelists for Star Sports’ coverage of the ongoing Indian Premier League.
Jones, who was affectionately referred to as ‘Deano’ in the cricket world, is regarded as one of the pioneers of aggressive batting in the limited-overs format.
His nifty strokeplay and active running between the wickets set him apart from the rest of his contemporaries as Jones carved out a niche for himself amid an era that was not yet accustomed to healthy scoring rates.
Jones’ remarkable acts of innovation and excellence were not limited to ODI cricket since he acquired an esteemed reputation in Tests as well.
His numerous feats across an illustrious career include an epic double ton during the famous tied Test in Chennai 34 years ago. Jones was notably plagued with issues of dehydration enroute his incredible 210 but battled the sweltering conditions in his stellar knock.
Jones played a total of 59 Tests and 164 ODIs and was part of the iconic Allan Border-led 1987 World Cup-winning team, which is thought of as setting the template for Australian domination.
His highest Test score of 216 arrived against a formidable West Indies pace attack comprising of Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh at Adelaide in 1989. The same year, Jones stole the spotlight with a series of extraordinary innings in the Ashes visit to England.
He finished his Test career with 3,631 runs to his name at an average of 46.55 while averaging an impressive 51.85 over a 17-year first-class record. In 2019, he was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
“What a great player and a great bloke. We are shocked and very sad to hear of his passing. Deano was a true legend of Australian sport and world cricket, one of the great players and personalities in a golden time for the game. His role in the team’s World Cup win in 1987 and the 1989 Ashes under AB were a huge turning point for Australian cricket,” Australia coach Justin Langer said in response to Jones’ demise.
“His double century in Madras was one of the greatest and most courageous innings of all time. We can only hope to make Australians as proud of our team as they were of Deano, he will be missed by the game and millions of people around the world. Our love to Jane and the girls,” he added.
Post-retirement, Jones established himself as a shrewd pundit marked by sharp wit. His detailed analysis that took into account the evolution of the modern game earned him the title of ‘The Professor’.
A racist remark captured on-air in 2006 led to wide condemnation of Jones when he labelled South African cricketer Hashim Amla a ‘terrorist’ supposedly for his bearded appearance. Jones later apologised for the offensive comment and was welcomed back to broadcasting with a different employer after the termination of his earlier contract.
He subsequently took up a few coaching gigs and was at the helm of affairs for Islamabad United when they clinched their maiden title in the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Super League.
He also undertook commentary stints in less popular tournaments including Afghanistan’s Shpageeza Cricket League and the regional Tamil Nadu Premier League and Karnataka Premier League. He helped with the development of the nascent Global T20 League, serving as the official advisor for the competition.
Jones was set to resume his coaching responsibilities with Karachi Kings for the remainder of the 2020 Pakistan Super League scheduled to be held in November.