Australian cricket, media pay glowing tributes to Dean Jones

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA) – Australian cricket and local newspapers paid glowing tributes on Friday to former batsman Dean Jones, 59, who died from cardiac arrest the previous day at a hotel in India where he was working as a cricket expert for Star India.

Ex-bowler Brett Lee made an appearance on Star India’s pre-game programme “Select Dugout”.

“I think the thing we want to say about Deano is he would have wanted us to be here tonight,” said Lee.

“He is an absolute legend. Firstly to his family and friends we send our condolences. It’s a real tough day for everyone, not only for his close mates … and the whole cricketing world in general.”

Cricket Australia Chairman Earl Eddings condoled the death and said the board would reach out to support Lee.

“(We have to) look out for Brett Lee, how can we support Brett, who was obviously very traumatised by what happened,” Eddings said.

Former New Zealand player Scott Styris, who appeared with Lee on “Select Dugout”, where the late cricketer’s seat on the panel was left vacant, said he had seen him jogging up and down the corridor of their hotel in the morning before his death.

“When we got up, had breakfast with Deano, I watched him jog up and down the hallway, that was his way of keeping fit,” said Styris, who broke down during the show.

“Who would have thought merely a couple of hours later he had this heart attack.”

The Age came out with a portrait of Jones on its front page carrying the headline “Farewell, Deano.”

“His passing will leave the cricket world a lesser and greyer place,” wrote sportswriter Greg Baum in The Age.

The front page of Daily Telegraph carried a picture of a grey-haired Jones holding the Ashes urn.

“There was a part of Dean Jones that never aged,” said News Corp cricket writer Robert Craddock.

“The cricket junkie with a million theories, a man whose love of the game was as rich the day he died as it was when he first surged onto the Australian cricket scene as a fearless, debonair new talent in the early 1980s.”

Cricket Australia said it would honour the memory of the player during the home summer.

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