Australian cricketing legend Dean Jones is being remembered as one of the greats of the sport after his shock death in India on Thursday after a heart attack.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was among those paying tribute to the 59-year-old, but couldn’t help but slip in a sly dig at selectors who overlooked Jones despite his impressive career.
‘Dean Jones was the epitome of grit, determination and sheer fight. He rewrote the rule book for the one-day game – and should have been picked for many more than his 52 Tests,’ Mr Andrews wrote on Twitter.
‘A legend of sport. A legend of this state. And we love him ’cause he’s Victorian.’
Dean Jones (pictured with his wife and two daughters) is considered one of the greats of Australian cricket
Batsman Dean Jones in action at the 1987 World Cup match against India in Chennai
One of Victoria’s long-standing gripes with Cricket Australia is that they have often felt they have been treated harshly by selectors.
Brad Hodge was one of the better known examples – the Victorian being shown the door from the national team just two tests after scoring an undeafeated 203 against South Africa.
In 2014, Clint McKay was dropped from the side after being named the One Day International player of the year for 2013.
Also dumped from the ODI team in 2016 was Victorian Josh Hastings, who had notched up the most numbers of wickets for that year.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Mr Andrews describes Jones as ‘not just a great cricketer, but a great person’.
‘I had opportunities to meet with him and I always found him to be an absolutely fantastic Victorian and I want to extend on behalf of all Victorians our condolences and best wishes, our love and support to all of Dean Jones’ family and of course to all of his many, many fans,’ he said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews posted a tribute to Dean Jones on Thursday night
Jones (right) was in the subcontinent as part of Star India’s commentating team for the IPL, which is being played in the UAE. He is pictured with Brian Lara (left), Mike Hesson (second from left) and Brett Lee (second from right)
Justin Langer has led a chorus of tributes for the ‘revolutionary’ Australian cricket great who suffered a serious heart attack in his Mumbai hotel on Thursday, less than 24 hours after commentating on the Indian Premier League.
Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee performed CPR on Jones but he could not be revived.
Jones influenced many across the sport, be it as a teammate, opponent, commentator or in a coaching role with Afghanistan and in the Pakistan Super League.
Langer revealed he wanted Jones to sign up as a coaching advisor to help the Australian team ahead of next year’s Twenty20 World Cup.
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting posted a heartfelt tribute to Jones
Jones (pictured) played 52 Tests for Australia with an impressive 44.61 run average
Another Australian batting legend Steve Smith also posted a tribute to Jones
DEAN JONES’ ON FIELD CRICKET CAREER
Highest score: 216
Highest score: 145
‘There’s not that many people who revolutionise the game; you think about maybe Warne, Adam Gilchrist, and Dean Jones with one-day cricket,’ the Australian coach said on Friday.
‘His running between the wickets, his athleticism, the way he took on the game.’
‘We’ve had Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, it was only recently I was talking about getting Deano in to be one of those mentor coaches.’
‘Sadly that’s not going to happen, but the things I’ve learned from him, and the legacy he leaves to Australian cricket won’t be lost on us.’
Langer said he had spoken to one of his ‘little brothers’ Lee, who was doing it tough.
‘I can’t imagine what Binga’s gone through so our heart goes out, not only to him, but obviously to Deano’s family,’ he said.
Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, David Warner and Steve Smith were among others to post tributes.
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, that revolutionised the sport.
His strike rate of 72.56 was brisk, while he still maintained an average above 44.61 with seven centuries over his 52 Tets.
This is a higher average than Ricky Ponting, considered Australia’s best batsman since Bradman, had with the same number of matches.
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.
Adam Gilchrist was among a flood of cricketers to pay their respects to Dean Jones
Phoebe previously shared an old happy snap of her parents in their youth (pictured). ‘Stumbled across this pic of JJ and Deano whilst cleaning out the shed,’ she wrote
After making his debut against the West Indies in 1984, he became a regular two years later 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.
‘We often think about Jones’ flamboyance … but like all the great players, very mentally and physically tough and those are things you admire in an Australian cricketer’ Langer said.
‘His 200 in Madras, it’s almost part of legend in Australian Test cricket, in the brotherhood of the baggy green.’
Jones’ 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.
Dean Jones of Australia in action during the second One Day International Final match between Australia and South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground Januray 23, 1994