Dean Jones, the former Australia batsman, cricket coach and broadcaster, has died of a heart attack in Mumbai at the age of 59.
Indian TV network Star Sports announced Jones’s death in a statement. Jones was overseas to commentate 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 read. “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.
“We are in touch with the Australian High Commission to make the necessary arrangements. Dean Jones was one of the great ambassadors of the game.”
As a player, the dashing Victorian 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 century against India in a tied Test in Madras.
He went on to play county cricket for Durham before captaining Derbyshire, and was a sought-after analyst and commentator in retirement.
Cricket Australia paid tribute to Jones, saying it was “deeply saddened” to learn of his death. “Jones won admirers the world over with his dashing shot-making and superb fielding,” it said. “He was also a stalwart of Victorian cricket during the 1980s and 1990s and retired as the state’s leading first-class run-scorer.
“Jones went on to become a highly-regarded coach and commentator. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 for his services to cricket and charity and was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019.”
Earl Eddings, chair of Cricket Australia, added that Jones “was a hero to a generation of cricketers and will forever be remembered as a legend of this great game. 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.
“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.”
The cricket world reacted with shock and sadness, led by Australian batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner, who are currently playing in the IPL with Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“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.”
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.”