Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has stated that the late Dean Jones was one of the pioneers in ODI cricket and at par with Viv Richards and Javed Miandad. Dean Jones passed away yesterday in Mumbai due to a massive cardiac arrest, much to the horror of all the cricketers and fans around the globe.
Having seen Dean Jones donning the hat of cricket pundit for Star Sports select dugout show the day preceding his untimely and unfortunate passing away, in all cheerful and passionate avatar, it has been heart-wrenching to come in terms with the sad news for all his colleagues as well as fans of the game. Indian head coach Ravi Shastri paid rich tributes to the great Aussie batsman, who is believed to be head and shoulders ahead of the rest in his heydays for Australia in ODI cricket.
Shastri said that he knew Jones for the good part of the last 34 years and was absolutely ahead of his time in 50-overs format and at par with geniuses like Viv Richards and Javed Miandad. Considered as the man, who revolutionized running between the wickets in ODIs, Shastri hailed his entertaining and attacking style of play.
"With him around, there was electricity. All the time I've known him, he was a livewire. I'm 58, he was 59, and I've known him since 1986 - that's almost 35 years. I will never forget him hosting me at his home for the Christmas-day lunch during the 2003-04 India tour of Australia.
"Dean Jones was among the best One-day batsmen in the world, on par with Viv (Richards) and Javed (Miandad). He was ahead of his time in the 50-over format, had an attacking style, his running between the wickets was excellent and he was right there at the top," Shastri was quoted as saying by TOI.
He also recalled Jones' epic 210 in Chennai where he put up a top notch display and after the knock had to be rushed to hospital and put on saline drips due to the heat and humidity.
"His 210 at Chepauk, battling the heat and humidity, was an exemplary effort. In my opinion, it ranks as the second-best innings ever played by an overseas Test batsman in India, after Kevin Pietersen's Wankhede innings in 2012," Shastri said.
Jones' colleagues Scott Styris and Brett Lee also poured in their tributes for the former Aussie batsman. While Lee said that Deano was a legend and he would have liked us to carry on with the work, Styris stated that Jones considered the dugout show as his own and came up with new ideas everyday.
“He would’ve wanted us to be here tonight because it’s pretty much Deano’s dugout tonight, an absolute legend. Obviously, the first thing is we send our condolences to his family, really tough day for everyone, not only for his friends and family but also for the cricket world. What Deano would’ve wanted is for us to come out here in the dugout, get it done, have some fun for the game we all love,” said Brett Lee.
“He thought this to be the Deano show really. He’s on to me every day with new ideas on how we can make it better. So I think it’s the right thing to do to be here, it’s gonna be hard but we hope t make him feel proud tonight,” Styris said.