What Dean Jones Brought to the Cricketing World Was Game-Changing

Dean Jones

Boxing Day in Australia is often spent lazing around the family home, eating leftovers and starting the new book that was left under the Christmas tree. For me and my sister, it also meant spending time with our dad and grandpa, sitting around the TV and falling asleep while watching the cricket.

For many years I begrudged the sport. I didn’t understand it, I had no idea what was going on and it wasn’t as fast-paced as I’d like — but if it meant watching with my family, I tried it out anyway.

When the news of cricketing legend Dean Jones’s death reached me on September 24, I was just as shocked as anyone. To me, Jones was a legend of the sport that my grandfather had loved so much and that my dad still to this day is an avid fan of.

Jones was up there with the players that I knew the most — Brett Lee, Steve Waugh, Michael Slater, Shane Warne, Allan Border. He was synonymous with my childhood — a part of an era of Australian sporting legends.

I don’t know much about the sport, but I do know when someone excels at it and Jones was one of those people. I even remember the crowd cheering his name.

After his death, the ABC described Jones as ” a cricketer who revolutionised the art of batting.” During his career, he scored 19,188 runs in first-class matches. He had 55 centuries and 88 half-centuries and a highest score of 324 not out. Legend.

In 1986, Jones — or “Deano” as his mates called him — played his most notable innings. It was only his third test against India in the tied Test. Even though the heat made him vomit and he wanted to get off the pitch, Jones scored 210 — a defining moment in his career and the game.

Over the next six years, he would be a staple in the Australian Test team and was one of the stars of the 1989 Ashes tour of England. His career would continue until 1998 when he retired.

In 2006, Jones made the Queen’s Honours List and was made a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for service to cricket as a player, coach and commentator, and to the community through fundraising activities for organisations assisting people with cancer” and the following year was named in the “greatest ever One-Day International” team. He then coached cricket in the Pakistan Super League.

On September 24, 2020, Jones died in Mumbai due to cardiac arrest. At the time, he was working as a commentator for the Indian Premier League. His former teammate, Lee, found Jones in his hotel room and tried to resuscitate him, however, he wasn’t able to.

Jones’s daughter Phoebe shared a touching tribute to her father on Instagram.

“I cannot believe I am writing this. My heart is broken,” she wrote.

“My dad. My hero. The sweetest and most caring person you could ever meet.

“If only you could see now how many lives you touched. If only you could see now how loved you were.’’

“You held my hand through the toughest times this year, how will I do this without you The heavens have opened their gates for another angel. Wait for me Dad. Everything I do is for you. I love you Dad.”

Jones will be remembered as a World Cup hero, a fierce sportsman and an MCG hero.

Vale Dean Jones.

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