Written by VP
His sublime shimmy down the pitch was as captivating as it was destructive. Ask the best bowlers of his times, spinners or speedsters, who were often walloped out of the stadium, and they would remember a master batsman called Dean Jones. No more with us, Dean passed away on September 24, 2020, after suffering a cardiac arrest in Mumbai. He was 59.
Truly a legend, Dean has gone down into the annals of cricket as a player who was not only known for his elegant batting but also superb fielding skills. A shining ambassador of Cricket Australia, having been inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019, Dean has left behind a legacy to be cherished. An able commentator after his retirement, he knew the nuances of the game as only a maestro can. Barring an odd instance where words slipped out of his mouth and castigation followed, Dean remained a popular commentator, coach and columnist, who explained each event on the pitch just as well as when he ruled it during his heyday.
Agreed, there were many players in the Australian team who scored more runs, had better averages, yet no one transformed one-day cricket for the world as did Dean. In and out of the team despite repeatedly proving his worth with tons of runs, Dean was a true fighter who would always bounce back. Often remembered for his one great innings at the Madras of those times, in 1986, where he scored 210 runs in enervating conditions and had to be hospitalised immediately after due to dehydration, Dean played many a great knock.
Known as professor Deano by his avid fans, Dean’ss cheerful persona will forever be remembered. Hailing from Melbourne, he sure has spawned a generation of cricketers. He will continue to inspire youngsters, who will now only hear of his achievements on the 22 yards, not see him in person.
From Vivian Richards to Brian Lara to Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli to Ricky Ponting to Adam Gilchrist, cricketing greats paid rich tributes to Dean Jones soon after his demise. Is there more to say about the greatness of the man? Not quite. RIP, Dean Jones.
(From the editor’s desk, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org)