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And a Cricket Legend Goes: Dean Mervyn Jones Dies in Mumbai!
Dean Mervyn Jones, DM Jones, as he appeared on scorecards for Australia in the mid-1980s to early 1990s for both Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs), died suddenly in Mumbai of a massive cardiac arrest on 24 September 2020. He was in the city for being part of the broadcast team operating from Mumbai for the ongoing New Normal Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL13). According to reports, Dean was participating in a discussion and then chatting with others in the hotel lobby when he suddenly collapsed and fell to the ground. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. He was only 59 years old and in very good health. In this grim time of COVID-19, death no longer needs an excuse to strike. The death of Dean Jones is a great tragedy to befall world cricket and a terrible shock to all cricketers, commentators and lovers of the game.
We remember Dean Jones as Australia’s venerable No.3 batsman when Australia was a formidable opponent, beating every team in international cricket with ease, including India under the respective captains of Allan Border and Steve Smith. Dean was included in the Australian team in 1984 during their tour of the West Indies and played 52 Tests until 1992 when he was dropped in controversial circumstances. In his Test career, DM Jones has scored 3631 runs with 11 centuries and 14 half-centuries, his batting average is an amazing 46.55. He was equally successful in the ODI format where he scored 6068 runs, 7 centuries, 46 half-centuries for a very healthy average of 44.61. According to the relevant ICC rankings, he was one of the best batsmen in the world during his tenure. He was named the best cricketer in 1990 in recognition of his outstanding performance in the successful Ashes Tour in 1989. He was also part of the winning Australian side in the 1987 ICC Cricket World Cup held in India.
Among millions of cricket lovers around the world, he is also remembered especially for his performance in the historic third Test against India in Chennai (then Madras) in September 1986: in extremely humid conditions, Dean Mervyn Jones, suffering from bouts of dehydration on the field, scored the final 210 runs in the first Australian innings from a massive 574 for 7 declared. This Test match became only the third drawn Test in world cricket with India setting up 348 runs to win on the fifth and final day, with the hosts level on 347 points. Dean Jones played his last ODI against South Africa in 1994.
Following his somewhat controversial exits from both the Test and ODI formats, Dean Jones continued to remain in the limelight as a commentator on live cricket matches and tournaments and as a live television presenter on various televised sports series. His special love for India brought him here very often as he participated in various new cricketing talents and humanitarian projects and it is indeed tragic that he breathed his last in the cricketing city of Mumbai. Dean Jones has always been bubbly, dramatic, witty and outspoken in his roles as commentator and presenter. His mind-talking statements often got him into trouble, both during his playing and as a commentator, leading to dismissals from the team or breach of contract.
Cricket legend goes to heavenly abode; the sad, shocking and untimely demise of a vibrant former cricketer, commentator, television presenter and cricket coach. He will forever be remembered as Australia’s outstanding No. 3 batsman, who came after the fall of one of the legendary openers, Marsh and Boon, always graced his home fans and all other cricket lovers around the world with aggressive attacking strokes: fours. and sixes galore. We are deeply saddened by the death of a cricketing legend.
On a personal level, I would like to mention another tragic loss of an outstanding physician, Dr. Ashwini Kumar Sarma, in a city in Assam on 18 September 2020; not because he was my brother-in-law, but because of the striking similarities between the two tragedies. The doctor also succumbed to a sudden, massive and inexplicable cardiac arrest during his afternoon nap and was over in just five minutes. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival before anyone could even guess what had happened. He was also 59 and in relatively good health. People can never understand the bizarre ways of death.
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