“Going, Going… Gone”: Beloved Commentator Dean Jones Has Left Cricket a Lot Poorer


“Going, Going… Gone”: Beloved Commentator Dean Jones Has Left Cricket a Lot Poorer

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

In more terrible news from the year 2020, former Australian cricketer, coach and commentator Dean Jones has died at the age of 59. Residing in Mumbai to fulfill his broadcasting commitments with the Indian Premier League, he suffered a heart attack at a hotel in Mumbai after 12 PM on Thursday.

Deano, or Professor, as he was affectionately called, was adored by players and fans alike. He revolutionised one-day batting on the pitch and commentary, when behind the microphone, with his insightful analysis and demeanour. An illustrious career, both on and off the pitch, a following spanning generations, one that had watched him play, and the other that heard him in commentary.

Dean Jones played 59 tests and 164 one day internationals, averaging a stellar 46.55 in tests and 44.61 in the shorter format. He was a part of Australia’s 1987 World Cup-winning team. After fireworks on the field, he carved a career in coaching and cricket commentary after his retirement from all forms of the game in 1997-98. It wouldn’t be off mark to state that Dean Jones changed ODI batting.

Tributes have poured in from all over the world, to honour the memory of a cricketing great. It was only yesterday during the IPL game between the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders, that Sanjay Bangar and Dean Jones were joking about who was better equipped to join an IPL franchise as an analyst. His sudden demise leaves the world of cricket in shock. A sentiment shared by former Indian captain and coach, Anil Kumble.

“Absolutely heartbreaking news about Dean Jones passing away. A wonderful soul taken away too soon,” said the little master, Sachin Tendulkar.

Former Aussie cricketer Mel Jones threw light on Dean’s contribution to the game, from his running between the wickets, the ability to manipulate the field, the energy he had in the field and his contribution to the development of many young players. There are some things that statistics will never be able to capture, and one of them is Deano’s influence on the modern game.

Australian batsman Steve Smith also expressed his grief.

“Always a larger than life personality,” remarked former Aussie player Damien Fleming.

Glenn Maxwell recollected the time he had a Dean Jones poster in his room as a kid, and how he was lucky to have him as a batting coach in the Big Bash League.

Dean Jones had a lasting impact on fans and budding cricketers. “We wanted to play like him, be him,” said Adam White.

Fellow commentator Scott Styris was short of words to express his sadness. Over the years, he and Deano had built up the Star Sports Dugout show that was cherished by fans for its analysis and entertainment factor. The Kiwi-Aussie rivalry was loved by all, as they kept pulling each other’s leg and let taunts fly, making cricket commentary less dull and bland. The partnership has been broken, and it will be missed.

“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,” Star Sports said in a statement.

“Going, going… gone” was one of his most famous quips in commentary, while describing a monstrous six. While fans craved to hear that when they were glued to their TV sets, they are gutted today thinking about those moments. You’ve gone too soon, Professor. The world of cricket is a lot poorer today, and it is going to miss you. Rest in peace.