Hours after trying to resusciate the late Dean Jones, his fellow commentator, former Australia quick Brett Lee returned to the television studio to cover IPL 2020.
Lee reportedly tried to revive the 59-year-old Jones, who passed away after collapsing in the lobby of a Mumbai hotel due to a sudden cardiac arrest on Thursday morning. By evening, Lee had taken his place in the studio for Star Sports‘ show Select Dugout for the game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab.
“I think the thing we want to say about Deano is he would have wanted us to be here tonight,” Lee said. “It’s pretty much the ‘Select Deano’ we call it. It’s Deano’s dugout tonight.”
“He is an absolute legend. Firstly to his family and friends we send our condolences. It’s a real tough day for everyone, not only for his close mates… and the whole cricketing world in general.
“What Deano would’ve wanted is for us to come out here in the dugout, get it done, have some fun for the game we all love.”
Tributes from far and wide kept pouring in through the day for Jones, a World Cup and double Ashes winner, who went on to become one of the most popular voices in modern-day cricket, while also taking up administration roles around the world.
Dean Jones in the 1989 Ashes:
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 24, 2020
Before the IPL game on Thursday, his fellow commentators remembered his contribution to the game, sharing anecdotes of their experiences with Jones over the years. As a mark of respect, the studio kept the jacket that he wore the previous day on his chair, alongside his famous red book.
Scott Styris, the former New Zealand all-rounder, recalled how Jones was following his usual routine ahead of the KXIP-RCB game in the morning.
“Who would have thought … this morning we got up, I had breakfast with Deano. I watched him jog up and down the hallway,” Styris noted.
Select Dugout has a chair with the coat Dean Jones was wearing yesterday during the show and his famous red book on the table. 🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/nHJ94bx2LO
— Vinayakk (@vinayakkm) September 24, 2020
“That was his way of keeping fit because of course we are in the bubble here in Mumbai. Who would have thought merely a couple of hours later he had this heart attack or some sort of cardiac problem. It’s incredibly sad.
“He thought this to be the Deano show really. He’s on to me every day with new ideas on how we can make it better. So I think it’s the right thing to do to be here, it’s gonna be hard but we hope to make him feel proud tonight.”