Former Australia batsman Dean Jones dies of heart attack

Mumbai (AFP) –


Former Australia batsman and cricket commentator Dean Jones, who had been covering the ongoing Indian Premier League from Mumbai, has died of a heart attack, his employer Star India said Thursday.

"It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Mr. Dean Mervyn Jones," the broadcaster said in a statement.

"He died of a sudden cardiac arrest. We express our deep condolences to his family and stand ready to support them in this difficult time."

Jones, who played 52 Tests and 164 one-day internationals in the 1980s and 1990s, winning the World Cup in 1987, was one of Australia's most popular cricketers.

In 1986, he famously struck 210 in the blistering heat of Chennai during cricket's second-ever tied Test.

He coached in the Pakistan Super League and was also a widely travelled commentator.

"Shocked to hear about the tragic loss of Dean Jones. Praying for strength and courage to his family and friends," said India's skipper Virat Kohli on Twitter.

"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," tweeted India's head coach Ravi Shastri.

Star India called Jones "one of the great ambassadors of the game" and praised him for his involvement with the sport's development across cricket-mad South Asia.

"He was passionate about discovering new talent and nurturing young cricketers... He will be sorely missed by everyone at Star and his millions of fans across the globe."

Jones attracted controversy in 2006 during a series in Sri Lanka when he described South African batsman Hashim Amla, a Muslim, as looking "like a terrorist" due to his long beard.

He was sacked by Ten Sports as a commentator for the remark, for which he later apologised.