Deano always wanted you to ask him questions. It was like he was asking you to test his knowledge bank and therefore give it a chance to grow even further.
Dean Jones could talk cricket all day. He was the ultimate cricket tragic and rightly termed as the ‘Professor’ on social media and television. It wasn’t an on-screen character though. He was no different behind the scenes. What really stood about the former Australian great was that he was always willing to share his vast knowledge of the game. And it didn’t matter if you were a rookie journalist, an experienced cricketer, or just an average cricket fan. Deano, as he was popularly called, always had time for everyone. You didn’t have to play for Australia or Victoria or any level of cricket for that matter.
Once he was remotely familiar with your face, he would always indulge in a conversation. Of course, he always had a point of view on whatever the topic of discussion would be.
Deano would spend most of his time during the day analysing techniques and tactics. These were the aspects of cricket that really got him going. He cherished discussions involving why or how a team or player should go about a certain challenge on the field the most.
During his playing days and as a broadcaster, he loved to pick the brains of past and current players to build his wisdom. Deano didn’t have to really do that once his career came to an end. He was happily retired, but he always felt he had to stay ahead of the game as a coach, broadcaster, or just as a person. For him, it was all about learning, understanding and enhancing his knowledge.
But what set him apart from any other cricketer was that he was always willing to pass that information on. He didn’t have the kind of restrictive ego that stops many sportspersons from sharing their experiences. That’s what made him unique and got him the global affection from all quarters.
He was always of the belief that spreading knowledge in public or within the cricketing circles was always for the betterment of the sport. While he was renowned to have many theories, he made sure that whatever knowledge he gained, the world would hear about it. It really didn’t matter to him whether you agreed with it or not.
Despite being around cricket for 40 years there was always this desire to know more about the game. If you asked him a question about cricket that he didn’t personally have an answer for, he would speak with his colleagues, former cricketers, current players, or even athletes from other sports to provide an answer.
Deano always wanted you to ask him questions. It was like he was asking you to test his knowledge bank and therefore give it a chance to grow even further. You could totally see it when he indulged in his witty banter with Scott Styris and others in the Star Sports Dugout in particular.
There is no doubt Deano would have continued to grow and learn. That was his goal in life in many ways. Importantly, all that information would then have been relayed to the common man via television, on social media, or to those that knew him personally either via a WhatsApp or a phone call.
This Test was the Renaissance for Australian cricket. It was our Mt Everest moment. Under AB we started to believe that we can compete against the best. Great friendships started with the Indians. Our Journey had just begun! #TiedTest #Chennai pic.twitter.com/40Zg1hr0sX
— Dean Jones AM (@ProfDeano) September 19, 2020
He absolutely loved being quizzed about the technical side of batting. Once he understood you had the desire to learn, digest his wealth of information, and at the same time still stimulate his cricketing brain with probing questions, chances are you would be speaking with Deano on a frequent basis. He would spend countless hours explaining the technical sides of the game because he loved it and he knew you did as well.
He never thought ‘I played international cricket and you didn’t so you won’t understand’. Very few cricketers in the world have that mindset. Very few cricketers can detach that heightened self-worth that comes with playing sport at the highest level. Deano did and that is why he is such a huge loss - not just to the cricketing eternity, but to all the people that love this game of cricket.
Deano will be missed forever.
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