Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones dies at the age of 59

Former Australian batsman Dean Jones has died at the age of 59. Jones passed away in Mumbai just hours after commentating on coverage of the current IPL.

He suffered a cardiac arrest at his hotel and despite efforts to resuscitate him this failed.

Stylish middle order batsman

A stylish middle order batsman, Jones played 52 tests in the course of eight years. He was also part of two winning Ashes sides and played in the Australian side that won the World Cup in 1987.

Jones began his first-class career in the 1981-2 season with Victoria in the Sheffield Shield. The Victorian had spells in England playing county cricket for Durham and Derbyshire.

Led Derbyshire to their highest ever finish in county championship

As captain for Derbyshire he led the side to their highest place finish in the championship in second place in 1996. In the same season he amassed 1,338 runs, mor than any other Derbyshire player.

During his career he scored a total of 19,188 in first-class matches including 55 centuries. His highest ever score was 324 not out which he hit for Victoria against South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match.

Third test match to remember for Jones

On the international front Jones made 3,631 test runs at an average of 46.55 with 11 centuries. His most notable innings was in just his third test match against India. Suffering from dehydration he wanted to go off the field but his Captain at the time Allan Border had other ideas.

Border insisted he stayed on the pitch and told him if he couldn’t handle the conditions, he would get a Queenslander in.  Greg Ritchie was the next man due in and was the Queenslander in question. Spurred on by this Jones carried on and hit 210.

Named as a Wisden Cricketer of the year

Jones was recognised for his cricketing talent by being named one of the Wisden Cricketers of the year in 1990.  In season 1993-4 Jones announced his retirement from white ball cricket.

Five years later he announced his retirement from the game but remained in cricket as a coach and commentator. Later on, in his life he was coach at Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League. The side went on to win the PSL twice in three years in 2016 and 2018.

Strong personality but very outspoken

Jones had a strong personality and often got himself into controversy. In the first one day final of the 1992-3 Benson & Hedges World Final he upset the West Indies. He asked paceman Curtly Ambrose to remove the wristband on his bowling arm.

More controversy followed Jones, this time in his broadcasting career. His contract with Ten Sports was terminated after referring to South African Hashim Amla as a “terrorist”. He also fell out with his Derbyshire team mates mid-season in 1997 which amounted to him leaving the county.

Despite his outbreaks of controversy, he will always remain as one of Australia’s finest ODI batsman. He was also a very good commentator of the game and came across perfectly on television.

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