The international cricket world is in mourning after the sudden death of former Australian test great Dean Jones who died of a heart attack in India.
Indian TV broadcaster Star India announced the 59-year-old Jones’ death in a statement on Thursday night.
Jones was overseas commentating for Star on the Indian Premier League, which started this week.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Mr Dean Mervyn Jones AM,” a statement from Star India said.
“He died of a sudden cardiac arrest. We express our deep condolences to his family and stand ready to support them in this difficult time,” it added..
“We are in touch with the Australian High Commission to make the necessary arrangements.”
Tributes were already pouring in for one of the most popular batsmen of his generation, with current 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.
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
Jones, a dashing right-hander, was regarded as one of the finest batsmen of his generation, playing 52 Tests and 164 one-day internationals for Australia in an international career that spanned 10 years from 1984 and 1994.
He amassed 3631 Test runs at an average of 46.55 with 11 centuries and 14 half-centuries, as well as over 6000 ODI runs with seven centuries and 46 half centuries.
After his retirement, he worked as a coach and commentator and was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019.
He was known for his aggression in the one-day game during an era where teams were still cautious with their limited-overs 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.
Deano. What a cricketer. pic.twitter.com/z3G620FOQv
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) September 24, 2020
Former Australia coach Bob Simpson said he had not “seen a braver innings”.
“He was running on adrenaline,” Simpson told the Cricinfo website.
“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.”