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Former Australian Cricketer and commentator Dean Jones passes away

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Former Australian Cricketer Dean Jones, who was a part of the Star Sports Select dugout until yesterday, tragically passed away in the early hours today, after suffering from a cardiac arrest. 

Star India, broadcasters of the IPL, put out a statement that read, “It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Mr. Dean Mervyn Jones AM. He died of a sudden cardiac arrest. We express our deep condolences to his family and stand ready to support them in this difficult time. We are in touch with the Australian High Commission to make the necessary arrangements.

“Dean Jones was one of the great ambassadors of the game associating himself with Cricket development across South Asia. He was passionate about discovering new talent and nurturing young Cricketers. He was a champion commentator whose presence and presentation of the game always brought joy to millions of fans. He will be sorely missed by everyone at Star and his millions of fans across the globe.”

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An iconic figure in the Kerry Packer-introduced World Series Cricket, Dean Jones re-defined the art of running between the wickets in One Day Cricket in the 80s, at a time when he was regarded as the best ODI batsman in the world. Despite being touted as a specialist in ODI Cricket, Jones also had an envious Test record as a batsman, scoring 3,631 runs in 52 Test matches for Australia at an average of 46.55. He was instrumental in Australia’s triumph in the 1989 Ashes campaign in England, their first Ashes win since 1983, aggregating a total of 566 runs at 70.75 with two hundreds and three half-centuries.

His fighting double hundred against India in the sauna-sweltering conditions of Chennai in 1986 is an extremely popular subject discussed by the Cricketing folklore over the years, and so is the incident in the 1992/93 World Series against West Indies, when he asked Curtly Ambrose to take his sweatbands off so that he could get a clearer view of the Antiguan pacer’s release point.

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Dean Jones on his way to that historic double hundred in the tied Test match at Chennai in 1986

Jones turned to coaching and then commentary after his retirement from competitive Cricket in 1998. Jones has coached the Islamabad United and the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League and had been appointed interim coach of the Afghanistan National Cricket team in 2017 briefly. He was touted to replace John Wright as the coach of the Indian Cricket team in 2005 but missed out on the job, his former Australian skipper Greg Chappell being recruited instead.

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Jones had been serving as a commentator since 1998 until last night. According to presenter Jatin Sapru, he was last seen by him this morning, preparing for today.