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Dean Jones' death shocks cricket world

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25th September, 2020
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Australian cricket great Dean Jones has died of a heart attack aged 59, shocking the sporting world after he starred as a player, coach and commentator.

Justin Langer has led a chorus of tributes for “revolutionary” Australian cricket great Dean Jones, who has died in India aged 59.

Jones suffered a serious heart attack in his Mumbai hotel on Thursday, less than 24 hours after commentating on the Indian Premier League.

Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee performed CPR on Jones but he could not be revived.

His death has sent shock waves through world cricket.

Jones had touched so many across the sport, be it as a teammate, opponent, commentator or in a coaching role with Afghanistan and in the Pakistan Super League.

Langer revealed he wanted Jones to come in as a coaching advisor to help the Australian team ahead of next year’s Twenty20 World Cup.

“There’s not that many people who revolutionise the game; you think about maybe (Shane) Warne, Adam Gilchrist, and Dean Jones with one-day cricket,” the Australian coach said on Friday.

“His running between the wickets, his athleticism, the way he took on the game.

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“We’ve had Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, it was only recently I was talking about getting Deano in to be one of those mentor coaches. 

“Sadly that’s not going to happen, but the things I’ve learned from him, and the legacy he leaves to Australian cricket won’t be lost on us.”

Langer said he had spoken to one of his “little brothers” Lee, who was doing it tough.

“I can’t imagine what Binga’s gone through so our heart goes out, not only to him, but obviously to Deano’s family,” he said.

Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, David Warner and Steve Smith were among others to post tributes.

Inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019, Jones was a favourite of so many of the sport’s fans in the 1980s and early ’90s.

Best known for his swashbuckling batting in one-day cricket, he brought an attacking approach to the game where he was happy to take bowlers on.

His strike rate of 72.56 was brisk for its time, while he still maintained an average above 44.61 with seven centuries.

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Jones attacked in the field and between the wickets, helping set the tone for the way the modern limited-overs game is played today.

But none of that should take away from the Victorians toughness in Test cricket.

After making his debut against the West Indies in 1984, he became a regular two years later when he produced what is still regarded as one of the grittiest performances by an Australian Test cricket.

His 210 against India in the 42C heat and extreme humidity of Madras was the stuff of Test folklore, as was the ensuing hospital trip where he required a drip.

“We often think about Jones’ flamboyance…but like all the great players, very mentally and physically tough and those are things you admire in an Australian cricketer” Langer said.

“His 200 in Madras, it’s almost part of legend in Australian Test cricket, in the brotherhood of the baggy green.”

Jones’ Test career ended abruptly in 1992 when he was dropped from the Australian side, while he played his last ODI in 1994 and stayed on with Victoria until 1998.

He remains the state’s second leading run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield.

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Later in life he became a respected commentator and coach, fitting seamlessly into the media landscape while still having a strong influence on the sport.

Dean Jones’ cricket career for Australia
Tests: 52

Runs: 3631

Centuries: 11

Average: 46.55

Highest score: 216

ODIs: 164

Runs: 6068

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Centuries: 7

Average: 44.61

Highest score: 145

© AAP