Former India spinner Venkatapathy Raju, who has been on commentary duty for the Indian Premier League from the Star Sports studio in Mumbai, said the demise of Dean Jones was a “shocker”.
“For the last two days I have been sharing quite a few thoughts with Dean Jones. We have been doing these shows for the ongoing IPL. Today being my-off day, I was in the room only and came to know from the boys that Jones suffered a massive stroke. It is really unfortunate,” Raju told Sportstar .
“I have a lot of respect for him for he was one of those very aggressive cricketers, who was far ahead of many of his contemporaries not just with his amazing range of stroke-play but also demonstrating the essence of running between the wickets besides being a brilliant fielder,” Raju said.
“I still vividly remember the blinder he took at second slip to send back Sanjay Manjrekar in a Test match in Australia (1991-92 series),” he added.
Dean Jones - Cricket loses an effervescent star
“We did go back to the final Test of the 1991-92 tour ‘Down Under’ when he scored 150 not out in Perth after struggling right through that series. And, also to that great double century in the ‘tied’ Test in Chennai (1986) when he waged a great battle against dehydration too,” Raju recalled.
“Not many may be aware that we played golf together many times and even yesterday he was recalling how the city of Hyderabad has developed,” said Raju.
“The discussions also veered about the pandemic and how life has become a struggle for everyone in general. He wondered as to when we could walk freely in the streets again,” he said.
Former India off-spinner Shivlal Yadav shared his memories of the colourful cricketer.
“World cricket has lost a wonderful cricketer and a thorough gentleman. I vividly remember that unforgettable double century he scored against us in the 1986 Chennai 'tied' Test. He got the better of us on the field and also beat the extreme heat. He was vomiting repeatedly and still continued to play. It should rank as one of the most fighting innings ever,” he said.
“More than his cricketing abilities, I always found him to be a very good human being, always jovial. I did meet him many times after that epic knock and he was a wonderful company to be with always. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members of Jones,” he added.