New Delhi: The sudden death of Australian great Dean Jones due to a cardiac arrest on Thursday left the cricketing world in shock as tributes poured in for the affable cricketer-turned-commentator.
Jones, 59, was in Mumbai with the Star Sports’ commentary team for the Indian Premier League.
“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,” tweeted Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar.
India captain Virat Kohli wrote: “Shocked to hear about the tragic loss of Dean Jones. Praying for strength and courage to his family and friends.”
India head coach Ravi Shastri and former opener Virender Sehwag also condoled his demise.
Current and former Australia players too were left speechless after coming to know about the tragic news.
“I can’t believe this news. So very sad to hear about this. Rip Deano, you will be missed,” David Warner, who is leading Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, tweeted.
Australian limited overs skipper Aaron Finch, who is with the RCB this IPL, said: “Still in shock hearing the news of Deanos passing. Thoughts are with Jane and the family at this incredibly tough time. A great man with an amazing passion for the game.”
World Cup-winning captain Michael Clarke wrote: “Speechless. Devastated. RIP great man.”
The official handle of the Indian Premier League posted: “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.”
In a statement, Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings expressed his grief and lauded Jones” cricketing and broadcast career.
“Dean Jones was a hero to a generation of cricketers and will forever be remembered as a legend of this great game,” Eddings said.
“Anyone who watched cricket in the 1980s and 1990s will fondly recall his cavalier approach at the crease and the incredible energy and passion he brought to every game he played.
“Although many remember him for his brilliance in the 50-over game, arguably Jones’ finest moment in the national team came in scorching conditions in Chennai in 1986, where his selfless and courageous innings of 210 helped Australia to a famous tie against India.
“Jones remained an immensely popular figure in Australian and Victorian cricket throughout his life and was a much-loved columnist and commentator in every corner of the cricketing world.
“This is a truly sad day. Deano’s loss will be felt not just at home in Australia, but across the globe. Our thoughts and best wishes are with his wife Jane and daughters Isabella and Phoebe,” said Eddings.
There was never a dull moment when Jones was around, whether it was on the cricketing field or in the commentary box.
“Very sad to hear of the passing of Dean Jones. He was always a fantastic bloke to have a yarn with around a cricket field. I remember in Canada one of his stories was so funny I actually forgot to warm up to bowl pre-game. RIP,” wrote New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham, who is also playing in the IPL.
Jones also worked as a coach in the Pakistan Super League.
“Shocked to hear the news regarding the passing of Dean Jones. He really loved Pakistan cricket and was an amazing man. Thoughts with his family at this difficult time.
“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,” said Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz.