NEW DELHI: The sudden demise of former Australian cricketer Dean Jones due to a cardiac arrest in Mumbai on Thursday left the cricketing world in shock.
As cricketers came to terms with the loss, former batting legend Sachin Tendulkar talked to TimesofIndia.com while paying tribute to the former Australian cricketer-turned-commentator.
“While I was growing up, I had seen Dean Jones bat on a number of occasions, but when I went to Australia in 1991, getting a chance to play against someone whom you kind of grew up watching, I remember there were a number of players in their team like Allan Border, David Boon, Geoff Marsh, Bruce Reid, (Craig) McDermott. As a 13-year-old, 14-year-old kid, I had watched all these bowlers, I had watched all of them, and then I was playing against them, the likes of Mark Waugh, Steve Waugh, so Dean Jones was without any doubt one of those guys I grew up watching, then to actually be playing against him was truly special. Australian team, I have gone on record saying that they have always been one of the toughest sides and possibly in the 90s if I have to say then the Australian team was the toughest side in cricket and he (Jones) was part of it,” Tendulkar said.
Dean Jones batting for Australia during their World Cup match against India at the Gabba in Brisbane, 1st March 1992. (Photo by David Munden/Popperfoto via Getty Images)
Tendulkar said that he admired Jones for playing fearlessly, adding that Deano, as he was fondly called by his friends, played some incredible knocks in his career.
“It always appeared to me that Dean Jones was fearless, he was out there to express himself, he played some incredible knocks in his career and not just in ODI cricket but also in Test cricket, in whichever format he played. In those days there were only Test cricket and ODIs, but he was extremely aggressive and fearless and his body language conveyed a lot of things to the opposition. I admired him for that,” Tendulkar further told TimesofIndia.com.
Tendulkar made his international debut in 1989, five years after Dean Jones first played an international match for Australia.
Jones was part of the 1987 World Cup winning Australian team and also the 1989 Ashes winning team. His style of play made him an inspiration for many.
Dean Jones races to embrace team captain Allan Border after winning the World Cup final in Calcutta on November 8, 1987. (AP Photo)
In 52 Tests, he scored 3631 runs, with 11 centuries. It was in the ODI format though that he really shone. In 164 ODIs he made 6068 runs, with seven centuries.
It wasn’t just his batting style and exploits though that made Jones a star. He was also a brilliant fielder.
“Even when it came to fielding, I still remember some incredible catches in the slip cordon that he (Dean Jones) has taken. If I am not mistaken, he took a blinder in Perth against us to dismiss Sanjay Manjrekar (off Merv Hughes), Dean Jones was literally up in the air just like Jonty Rhodes, Jones was literally like that in the slip cordon taking that brilliant catch,” Tendulkar recalled while talking to TimesofIndia.com
Jones’ death on Thursday sent shockwaves across the global cricketing fraternity. Sachin, who Jones, like the rest of the cricketing world held in very high regard had tweeted about how shocked he was when he heard the news.
Absolutely heartbreaking news about Dean Jones passing away.A wonderful soul taken away too soon. Had the opportun… https://t.co/68jopHOMkh
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 1600945488000
“It is really shocking. When I heard about it I couldn’t believe it. When such kind of information comes, you always feel and only hope that it’s a rumour and not true. I am really really sad to know and accept that he is no more with us and it was really a hard thing to swallow,” Tendulkar said.