Dean Jones Obituary: Coming of the age cricketer who revolutionised how ODI cricket should be played

In many ways, Dean Jones alias Prof. Deano, revolutionised the way ODI cricket was to be played in the coming years. While many felt, the shorter format urged players for quicket scoring and power hitting, he brought his own style of play to the table. He was a fantastic-rotator of the strike, loved playing in the gaps and often chipped off the extra run at the slightest opportunities. He was a complete batsman who could play anywhere from opener to seventh down. But on Thursday, the cricket world was left stunned as former Australia cricketer-turned-commentator passed away in Mumbai due to massive heart attack in the afternoon. He was 59.

Jones was a part of Star Sport’s official broadcaster’s commentary panel for IPL 2020 and he was staying in a bio-secure bubble in a seven-star hotel in Mumbai.
Reportedly, Jones’ fellow commentator at IPL, Brett Lee tried to give him CPR but it proved to be of no use.

“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Dean Mervyn Jones AM,” Star India, whom Jones was a commentator for, confirmed through a statement. “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.

“Dean 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. 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.”

Popularly known as “Professor Deano”, Jones was last seen on air in Star Sports’ show ‘Select Dugout’ on Wednesday. The show particularly focuses on IPL and it brings real-time insights into what is going on in the minds of the players, predicting what is likely to happen next and the reason behind critical decisions taken on the field.

Before opting for commentary, Dean Jones enjoyed a wonderful cricket career and was famous for his attacking batting style

Regarded as one of the finest white-ball batsmen to have played for Australia, Jones played 164 ODIs racking up 6063 runs, seven centuries and 46 fifties. He finished his ODI career with an average of 44.61. He also played 52 Tests from 1984 to 1994 and scored 3631 runs including 11 centuries.

Take a look at Jone’s career here:

Jones, who was born on 24 March 1961, his Test debut against West Indies in 1984. He scored 48 runs in the first innings and followed up with an innings of 5. On his ODI debut against Pakistan in the same year, Jones scored an unbeaten 40 off 33.

Prior to making it to the national team, Jones was part of his state team Victoria for which he scored 9622 runs in Sheffield Shield at an average of 54.05. He smashed 31 centuries and 40 half-centuries for the team.

Jones played 245 first-class matches and 285 List A matches in which he scored 19188 runs and 10936 runs respectively. He scored 55 centuries he made for various teams in first-class cricket, while in List A matches he recorded 19 centuries and 72 half-centuries.

Jones was a not only a member of the 1987 World Cup-winning team but he also played a pivotal role in Australia’s triumph and scored 314 runs in eight matches at an average of 44.85. In the summit clash of the tournament, Jones came to bat at number three and scored 33 off 57 balls.

The Australian was also known for his excellent fielding during his playing days.

Jones was particularly remembered for never-say-die attitude, which he showed against India during the tied Test in Madras in 1986-87. Jones scored 210 in the first innings and after that he ended up in hospital on a saline drip, not because he was injured but he was dehydrating badly. as the temperatures hovered between 40 and 41 with a humidity of over 80 percent. Jones’ body gave up when he was at 174 as he felt dizzy and vomited, but the Australian refused to give in and batted until he was bowled by Shivlal Yadav for 210.

Jones was 33 in the year 1994 when he retired from international cricket just over a spat with fellow teammates Mark Taylor and David Boon.

In 2019, Dean Jones was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.