Dean Jones' death shocks cricket world

Dean Jones, pictured (c) with Allan Border in India in 1987, has died aged 59.
Dean Jones, pictured (c) with Allan Border in India in 1987, has died aged 59.

Justin Langer has led a chorus of tributes for 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.

It's believed 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.

"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," Langer said on Thursday night.

"His role in the team's World Cup win in 1987 and the 1989 Ashes under AB (Allan Border) were a huge turning point for Australian cricket.

"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 (his wife) Jane and the girls."

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

"Absolutely heartbreaking news about Dean Jones passing away," Tendulkar tweeted.

"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."

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.

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 1982, he became a regular in 1986 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.

"His 200 in Madras in 1986 was one of the greatest and most courageous innings of all time," Langer said on Thursday night.

His 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.

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.

What the world is saying about the cricket great

  • "Awful to hear the news of Dean Jones passing away in Mumbai. He was a wonderful player for Australia and he will be missed." - Australia batting superstar Steve Smith
  • "I can't believe this news. So very sad to hear about this. RIP Deano, you will be missed." - Australia opening batsman David Warner
  • "What a great player and a great bloke. We are shocked and very sad to hear of his passing. His role in the team's World Cup win in 1987 and the 1989 Ashes were a huge turning point for Australian cricket." - Australia coach Justin Langer
  • "Incredibly shocked by the news that Dean Jones has passed away. Had a poster of the great man in my room as a kid." Australia allrounder Glenn Maxwell
  • "Shocked to hear about the tragic loss of Dean Jones. Praying for strength and courage to his family and friends." - India captain Virat Kohli
  • "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." - India legend Sachin Tendulkar
  • "Horrible news to wake up to...You were more than a player I had played against, you were my friend, my brother. Will deeply miss your smile & your presence where ever cricket is played around the world." - West Indies legend Sir Viv Richards
  • "Sad to learn of the passing of Dean Jones. Thoughts and prayers to family and friends." - South Africa champion allrounder Jacques Kallis
  • "PCB is devastated with the news of Dean Jones' passing. On behalf of Pakistan cricket, the PCB offers its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and the entire cricket community." - Pakistan Cricket Board
  • "An absolute cricketing legend. A true entertainer at the crease, whose flair with the bat and electric running between the wickets changed the game forever. A genuine good guy and a huge loss." - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
  • "Dean Jones was the epitome of grit, determination and sheer fight. A legend of sport. A legend of this state. And we love him 'cause he's Victorian." - Victorian premier Daniel Andrews
  • "We're deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former test cricketer and lifelong Carlton supporter, Dean Jones." - Carlton AFL club
  • "Rest in peace my friend" - Australian soccer great Tim Cahill

Dean Jones' cricket career for Australia

  • Tests: 52
  • Runs: 3631
  • Centuries: 11
  • Average: 46.55
  • High score: 216
  • ODIs: 164
  • Runs: 6068
  • Centuries: 7
  • Average: 44.61
  • High score: 145

Australian Associated Press