The IPL lost one of its side attractions on Thursday. Dean Jones’ untimely demise has robbed the tournament of one of its most perceptive and entertaining commentators.
It may be no exaggeration to say that Jones the commentator had more followers in India than back home in Australia. Remember how he used to dress up as an academician during his stint as Professor Deano for NDTV?
He extended Australia’s long tradition of excellent cricketers-turned-commentators. The likes of Ian Chappell, Richie Benaud and Bill Lawry elevated Channel 9 and now Brett Lee, Jones’ colleague on Star Sports Dugout, is a delight too.
Jones, however, had to live through one terrible phase when he was sacked by Ten Sports after he made an insensitive description of Hashim Amla during the second Test between Sri Lanka and Australia at Colombo in 2006. He regretted his mistake and was able to win back the broadcaster’s faith.
Jones could put a smile on the viewer’s face, with his sense of humour. He would also showcase his knowledge of Hindi, like if 52 was needed for victory, he would say: “They now need to make baawan.”
Scott Styris, former New Zealand all-rounder and now a fine analyst, always managed to bring the best out of Jones. During a recent IPL broadcast, Styris was talking to Lee about the speed of pace bowlers. “I was happy with my bowling,” Styris said. “The batsmen were also happy with your bowling,” quipped Jones.
It is hard to believe Jones is no more. You will be missed, Deano!