Lee fronts TV after trying to save Dean Jones with CPR
Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee has fronted Indian television just hours after trying to save the life of cricket legend Dean Jones.
The sporting world was rocked when Jones suddenly died of a heart attack aged 59 in a Mumbai hotel while working in India in the commentary booth for the IPL.
Jones and Lee were both part of Star India's English dugout commentator pool for 2020.
Jones reportedly suffered a sudden heart attack in the lobby and Lee performed CPR on his friend and colleague. He was taken to hospital by ambulance but could not be saved.
Lee returned to television screens just hours after Jones' untimely death alongside New Zealander Scott Styris, describing Jones as an "absolute legend".
"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."
Styris described how Jones had exercised in the hotel that morning, which had been booked out by the broadcaster with crew keeping to a bubble format.
He said he had breakfast with him and watched him run down the hallway to keep fit.
"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."
Earlier, Lee had shared on Twitter it was a "lot of fun" in the commentary dug out where he was working with Jones.
STAR INDIA RELEASES STATEMENT
Star India were quick to release a statement to reveal Jones' untimely death on Thursday night AEST.
"It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Dean Mervyn Jones AM," Star India confirmed through 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.
"Dean Jones was one of the great ambassadors of the game associating himself with cricket development across South Asia. He was passionate about discovering new talent and nurturing young cricketers.
"He was a champion commentator whose presence and presentation of the game always brought joy to millions of fans. He will be sorely missed by everyone at Star and his millions of fans across the globe."
😢— Scott Styris (@scottbstyris) September 24, 2020
There has been an outpouring of grief from across the cricket world for Jones' loss but also those sending thoughts to Lee.
IPL Broadcaster Star Sports has confirmed Dean Jones passing in a statement. Jones reportedly suffered a heart attack in the hotel where he was lodged by the company. Brett Lee tried CPR unsuccessfully.— Nat Wallace N-A-T (@NatJohnWallace9) September 24, 2020
Jones played in 52 Tests for Australia, averaging 46.55 runs throughout a stellar career that resulted in 3631 runs and 11 centuries.
He will go down in Australian Test cricket folklore after his heroics in the 1986 Test against India in Madras where he scored 210 in oppressive conditions, and being so dehydrated he lost control of his bodily functions in a eight and a half-hour epic, losing a reported eight kg during the innings.
But Jones truly shone in the One Day International format of the game, scoring 6063 runs in 164 matches.
He is even fifth on the ICC's all-time ODI batting rankings behind only Viv Richards, Zaheer Abbas, Greg Chappell and David Gower, and one place ahead of Virat Kohli.
The cricket world was devastated by the news with Australian cricket stars sharing their grief on social media.
Chair of Cricket Australia Earl Eddings released a statement following the news.
"Dean Jones was a hero to a generation of cricketers and will forever be remembered as a legend of this great game," 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.
"Although many remember him for his brilliance in the 50-over game, arguably Jones' finest moment in the national team came in scorching conditions in Chennai in 1986, where his selfless and courageous innings of 210 helped Australia to a famous tie against India.
"Jones remained an immensely popular figure in Australian and Victorian cricket throughout his life and was a much-loved columnist and commentator in every corner of the cricketing world.
"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."
Glenn Maxwell tweeted: "Incredibly shocked by the news that Dean Jones has passed away. Had a poster of the great man in my room as a kid. And was lucky to have him as a batting coach 1st year of BBL. Thoughts are with his family at this extremely tough time. #RIPDeano"
Former Australian star and coach Darren Lehmann shared: "Dean Jones will be missed, he taught me so much on and off the ground, I and all of the cricketing world will miss him. Our thoughts are with Jane and the family at this time, lots of love from the lehmanns xx"
Former Aussie quick Jason Gillespie: said: "Simply awful news. Rest in peace Deano. Grew up idolising you and it was a pleasure to know you. Heartbreaking. Deepest condolences to Jane and the family."
And Aussie white-ball skipper Aaron Finch added: "Still in shock hearing the news of Deanos passing. Thoughts are with Jane and the family at this incredibly tough time. A great man with an amazing passion for the game."
There were countless more tributes from players, coaches and fans from across the world as the cricketing community comes to grips with the enormous loss.
Originally published as Brett Lee speaks out after Jones' death
Terrible, and thoughts with Brett Lee too, an incredibly traumatic situation.— Carly Adno (@CarlyAdno226) September 24, 2020
Shocked to hear the news of sad demise of Dean Jones after a massive heart attack. Brett Lee tried to resuscitate him for quite some time, but couldn't succeed.— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) September 24, 2020
Deano was one of my favourite commentators, always so passionate about whatever he did. #RIPDeano
But I thought post his return he would go into have one of those long careers In #cricketbroadcast a la the great #RichieBenaud .— Hrishikesh Kannan (@HrishiKay) September 24, 2020
59 is no age to go. condolences to his family & also to @BrettLee_58 who must be devastated having been so close to him when this tragedy happened