Mumbai: Just when everyone thought, that things were falling in the right place for the game of cricket, the fraternity had to deal with harsh news, the sudden demise of the former Australian cricket legend Dean Mervyn Jones.
Jones passed away of cardiac arrest. He was part of Star Sports commentary team and was in a bio-secure bubble in a seven-star hotel here in the city. He was 59.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters. Professor Deano, as he was fondly addressed in the cricketing circle was an active cricket analyst and was signed up to do off-tube commentary on the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 now underway in UAE.
Jones is a popular figure in the Indian media. His show Prof Deano was extremely popular on NDTV. He has commentated on various leagues of the world and was known for his forthright views.
Jones was born in Melbourne. He has played 52 Test matches scoring 3631 runs at an average of 46.55. With a 216 as his best score, Jones scored 11 centuries and was an important member of Allan Border's team.
The Victorian was famous for his attacking batting style as a top-order batsman in one-day internationals.
"It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Jones. He died of a sudden cardiac arrest," Star Sports said a press release.
Expressing their condolences, the release added, "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.
Jones began his first-class career in the year 1981, with Victoria in the Sheffield Shield, he also donned the colours for Durham and Derbyshire in the English County Championship.
He left Derbyshire in mid-season and also had run-ins with authority and teammates in his home state of Victoria. During his career, he scored 19,188 runs in first-class matches, including 55 centuries and 88 half-centuries and a highest score of 324 not out, at an average of 51.85.
"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," the broadcasters said.
Jones was selected on the 1984 tour of the West Indies after Graham Yallop had to pull out due to injury.
The right-handed batsman and off-spinner, he was also a noted fundraiser for people with cancer. In the year 2006, in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, he was made a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for service to cricket as a player, coach and commentator, and to the community through fundraising activities for organisations assisting people with cancer".