Former Australia batsman Dean Jones has died at the age of 59.
Jones was in Mumbai as part of Star Sports’ coverage of the Indian Premier League.
As a player Jones made 52 Test appearances but was best known for his innovative approach to one-day cricket, winning 164 caps in a decade of international service. He made 18 centuries for Australia, including a memorable double hundred against India in a tied Test in Madras.
He went on to captain Derbyshire, turned out for Durham in their maiden season as a first-class county in 1992 and was a sought-after analyst and commentator in retirement.
Derbyshire confirmed the news on Thursday morning, tweeting: “The club is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of former captain, Dean Jones. This is a tragic loss for the game and our thoughts are with Dean’s family.”
The cricket world reacted with shock and sadness, with Australia head coach Justin Langer leading the tributes.
“What a great player and a great bloke. We are shocked and very sad to hear of his passing,” he said.
“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 (captain Allan Border) were a huge turning point for Australian cricket. 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.”
Australia batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner, who are currently playing in the IPL with Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively, took to Twitter.
“Awful to hear the news of Dean Jones passing away in Mumbai,” Smith tweeted.
“He was a wonderful player for Australia and he will be missed. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Deano.”
Warner added: “I can’t believe this news. So very sad to hear about this. Rip Deano, you will be missed.”
I can’t believe this news. So very sad to hear about this. Rip Deano, you will be missed. pic.twitter.com/Mc8h36gnWe
— David Warner (@davidwarner31) September 24, 2020
India captain Virat Kohli posted: “Shocked to hear about the tragic loss of Dean Jones. Praying for strength and courage to his family and friends.”
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan added: “This is so sad … A hero of mine has gone far too soon … always offered so much advice to us younger players when he played at Derby … #RIPDeano.”
Cricket Australia chair Earl Eddings hailed Jones as a trailblazer in limited-overs cricket.
“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.
Cricket Australia is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dean Jones, aged 59.
Jones represented Australia in 52 Tests and 164 One-Day Internationals, winning admirers the world over with his dashing shot-making and superb fielding.
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) September 24, 2020
“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.”