The cricketing world has received a massive shock after learning of the sudden death of Australian cricket legend Dean Jones.
Jones, 59, suffered a heart attack while being stationed in Mumbai as a commentator for the IPL and was unable to be revived after former Australian star, Brett Lee, was at the scene and attempted CPR, but was unable to successfully save his life.
Jones is survived by his wife Jane and two daughters, Phoebe and Isabella.
Jones’ daughter, Isabella, wrote a heartfelt tribute about her father on social media.
“I can’t believe I am writing this. My heart is broken,” Ms Jones wrote.
“My dad. My hero. The sweetest and most caring person you could ever meet.
“If only you could see how many lives you’ve touched. If only you could see how loved you were.
“You held my hand through the toughest times this year, how will I do this without you.
“The heavens have opened their gates for another angel. Wait for me Dad.
“Everything I do is for you. I love you dad.”
The crew who were working with Jones are said to not be in a good place at the moment following the shock death to such a close and beloved colleague. Former cricketing greats Brian Lara, Graeme Swann, Lee and Sunil Gavaskar were also staying in the same hotel as Jones.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Mr. Dean Mervyn Jones AM. He died of a sudden cardiac arrest,” said Star Sports India in a statement.
“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.”
Jones kicked off his career at the Carlton Cricket Club in Melbourne, where his dad, Barney, was a club legend.
He batted at number 3 for Carlton at a very young age and was under the guidance of former Test great Keith Stackpole at the time.
Jones then battled on and became a very good Sheffield Shield cricketer, where he scored a 50 against Dennis Lillee in one of his first games.
From then on, Jones became one of the greatest talents in the game and one of the best one-day international cricket players the world had seen.
He played a big part in the revolutionising of the game, with his running between the wickets, outstanding fielding ability and his willingness to take the bowling on, and was arguably the best one-day player in cricket for a period of time.
Jones, a proud Victorian, also helped lead Australia to a shocking 1987 World Cup win which helped pull the Aussies out of its toughest period.
With the retirements of Greg Chappell, Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh, it was Jones, along with the likes of David Boon, Merv Hughes and Mark Taylor who got Australia rolling on a new success path.
Jones also played one of the most famous innings’ in history in the Tied Test 1986, where he overcame physical illness in unhealthy conditions and managed to stay out in the middle and score a stunning double century.
Over the course of his 52-tests for Australia, Jones scored 3631 runs at an average of 46.55.
Jones also played 164 one-day internationals for Australia, scoring 6068 runs at an average of 44.62.
Former Australian great Allan Border was deeply saddened by the sudden news of Jones’ death.
“He revolutionised the game and I loved him,” Border said.
“When he scored his 200 in Madras he was so dehydrated but he kept going. At 170 I said ‘if you can’t keep going I’ll get a Queenslander on.’
“I can’t believe this news but I’d like to pay tribute to Brett Lee for everything he did.
“Deano was unbelievable at the Test level but his aggression at the one-day level will be remembered forever.
“He loved his family, cricket golf and wine. I loved batting with him and he backed me and for that I will always love him.”
Current Australia coach Justin Langer also payed his respects to Jones.
“What a great player and a great bloke,” he said in a statement.
“We are shocked and very sad to hear of his passing.
“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 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.”
Simon O’Donnell, who played with Jones throughout his cricketing life, from a junior to on the biggest stage, said it was a “sad day” for the sport.
“He was such a polarising cricketer and you could see that he loved that,” O’Donnell told SEN.
“The first time I ran into Dean Jones was a carnival in Melbourne in 1980 … Literally that day, we walked onto the ground and I thought ‘Who’s this clown?’
“That was Dean Jones from the first day I met him to the last day I played with him. That was Deano – his appetite to compete was insatiable.
“He just wanted more and more of it and the more he got, the better he got at cricket.”
O’Donnell added that he’s still shocked by what has transpired.
“We’re all in that category these days, we’re not young fellows anymore,” he said.
“He’s one of the greats of cricket in this country and particularly in Victoria, and he’s not with us at 59.”
Cricket Australia Chairman Earl Eddings also payed his respects to Jones.
“Dean Jones was a hero to a generation of cricketers and will forever be remembered as a legend of this great game,” said Eddings.
“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.
“This is a truly sad day. Deano’s loss will be felt not just at home in Australia, but across the globe.”