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Former Australia batsman Dean Jones dies in India aged 59

NEW DELHI (AP) — Former Australia cricketer Dean Jones died of an apparent heart attack while in India to commentate on the Indian Premier League. He was 59.

Cricket Australia and Indian television network Star Sports announced Jones’ death on Thursday.

Jones represented Australia in 52 tests and 164 one-day internationals and was known for his strong fielding and often superb shot-making.

“Dean Jones was a hero to a generation of cricketers and will forever be remembered as a legend of this great game,” Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings said.

“Anyone who watched cricket in the 1980s and 1990s will fondly recall his cavalier approach at the crease and the incredible energy and passion he brought to every game he played.

“This is a truly sad day. Deano’s loss will be felt not just at home in Australia, but across the globe. Our thoughts and best wishes are with his wife Jane and daughters Isabella and Phoebe.”

Earlier, Star Sports said Jones died from a cardiac arrest at a hotel in Mumbai. The IPL is being played in the United Arab Emirates due to coronavirus restrictions in India.

“We express our deep condolences to his family and stand ready to support them in this difficult time," Star Sports said. “We are in touch with the Australian High Commission to make the necessary arrangements.”

India cricket captain Ravi Shastri tweeted: “Really shocking to lose a colleague and a dear friend, Dean Jones. Gone so young. Condolences to the family and may his soul rest in peace.”

Jones was more well-known for his ODI performances — he was part of Australia's first Cricket World Cup-winning team in 1987 — but carved out an impressive test career, with his 210 against India in a scorching Madras in 1986 the highlight among his 11 test centuries.

Former Australia coach Bob Simpson told espncricinfo he had not “seen a braver innings ... he was running on adrenaline."

“During breaks we would have one bloke waiting to take off his pads and another would strip him and put him in an ice bath just to try and revitalize him. It was immensely courageous.”

He went on to play English county cricket for Durham before captaining Derbyshire, and was a sought-after analyst and commentator in retirement.

“Awful to hear the news of Dean Jones passing away in Mumbai,” former Australia captain Steve Smith, who is in Dubai for the IPL, said on Instagram.

“He was a wonderful player for Australia and he will be missed. My thoughts are with his family.”

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More AP cricket: https://apnews.com/Cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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