Dean Jones will be best remembered for his Chennai Test double century

Provided by Daily Mail. Dean Jones speaks to former Prime Minister John Howard at Maroubra Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Tributes have flown in from all over the world on the sad passing away of Australia’s legendary batsman Dean Jones in Mumbai yesterday [Thursday] while working as an analyst on the 2020 IPL matches for Star TV.

Whenever I hear the name Dean Jones, I think of the Chennai tied Test of 1986. What a coincidence! His best cricketing moment came in India, in the above Test in September. His end due to cardiac arrest also came in India also in September, 34 years and five days later, at age 59.

In the tied Chennai Test Deano scored a magnificent 210 with 27 fours and two sixes. He was dehydrated in the heat of 38 °C and 95% humidity but carried on bravely and was later hospitalised for saline treatment.

To quote Mike Coward from Cricket Beyond the Bazaar (1990): “The more pain and discomfort Jones experienced the harder he struck the ball and the more precisely he placed it. He batted like a man possessed.”

Jones recalled later, “My boots were full of sweat. It was like standing in a bucket of water. My vision didn’t seem unduly impaired but when I got to 150 I abandoned all footwork. I just made sure I kept my head still and stood and delivered.”

He became the first Australian to score a double century in India and became India’s hero. His passing away in Mumbai on Thursday was lamented by all his fans.

I remember the tied Chennai Test of 1986 as if it was yesterday. “It’s a tie, a TIE”, I can still hear the Indian commentators scream at the end of a truly memorable match. The last day of the above Test had all the ingredients of a spy thriller. India needed 348 runs to win in one full day and was on the road to victory at 6 for 331. Only 17 runs were needed for an epic triumph with four wickets intact when the Indian batsmen choked to spinners Greg Matthews and Ray Bright.

In both his Test cricket and his life span Dean Jones’ farewells created shocks. He had no chance to say a proper “bye-bye” to his Test career. After scoring 3631 spell-binding runs in 52 Tests from 1983 to 1992 at an average of 46.55 with 11 centuries (highest score 216), he was dropped from the Test team when aged only 31. That forced his premature retirement from Test annals. Just as sudden was his passing away.

Provided by Daily Mail. Dean Jones is seen with his wife Jane and their daughters Augusta and Phoebe at the SCG

Dean Jones continued representing Australia in one-day internationals (ODIs) till 1994. In 164 ODIs, he smashed 6068 spectacular runs at 44.61, belting seven hundreds with 145 as his highest score.

In 2006, Dean was awarded an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday honours.

Tributes poured in after his sudden passing away in Mumbai.

Sachin Tendulkar said, “Jones’ death was heartbreaking.  A wonderful soul taken away too soon. I 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.”

Former Australian captain Steve Smith added, “Gone so young. Condolences to the family and may his soul rest in peace. He was a wonderful player for Australia and he will be missed. My thoughts are with his family. RIP Deano.”

David Warner: “I can’t believe this news. So very sad to hear about this. RIP Deano, you will be missed.”

Bob Simpson, the then coach of the Australian team in India in 1986:  “I have not seen a braver innings than Dean’s … It was immensely courageous.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison paid tribute to the ”˜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. Our hearts go out to Dean’s family, friends, the Australian cricket family and his many fans.”

Dean Jones is survived by his wife Jane and their two daughters, Augusta and Phoebe.



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