MUMBAI: Calling him an “extrovert to the core”, Team India‘s head coach Ravi Shastri said he would remember Dean Jones, who died of a sudden, massive cardiac arrest on Thursday, as “a very good cricketer and commentator” and “one of the best One-day players in the world, ever”.
Speaking to TOI on Thursday evening, just hours after the former Australian cricketer passed away, Shastri conveyed his condolences. “Really shocking to lose a colleague and a dear friend. Gone so young. It’s very sad that he had to pass away in my city, and at a time when I couldn’t even meet him. I’m very sorry for Jane (his wife) and the kids,” he said.

ONE-DAY WONDER: Dean Jones blazes away in country colours in March, 1992 in Australia. (Getty Images)
Shastri remembers Jones as a laugh-a-minute colleague, with a very good sense of humour and great fun to work with. “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,” the India coach said.

In the mid and late 80s, Shastri said, “Dean Jones was among the best One-day batsmen in the world, on par with Viv (Richards) and Javed (Miandad)”.
Calling him a “terrific entertainer” in white ball cricket during his time, Shastri said, “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 and Jones first played Test cricket against each other when India toured Australia in 1985-86 for a three-Test series followed by Australia touring India soon thereafter.
“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.

Shastri remembers Jones as a laugh-a-minute colleague, with a very good sense of humour and someone great fun to work with.
“With him around, there was electricity. Of all the time I’ve known him, he was a live wire. 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,” the India coach said.



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