The show must go on and it did.
Just hours after the death of former Australian cricketer Dean Jones, who was an integral member of Star Sports’ show Select Dugout for the ongoing and previous editions of the Indian Premier League, his colleagues paid a touching tribute to him, firstly by getting on with the show.
His coat, worn during the show the night before, was placed on one of the seats in the box and his famous red notebook was placed in on the desk.
“He’s an absolute legend. What Deano would have wanted was for us to get out there and get the job done. Get to the dugout, have some fun, watch some cricket, the game that we all love,” former cricketer Brett Lee said on the show.
Multiple reports said that former Australia pacer Lee had tried to revive Jones in the Mumbai hotel when he collapsed. The 59-year-old is said to have suffered a massive cardiac arrest in the hotel on Thursday afternoon.
Jones was an infectious character in the commentary box and left lasting impression on many of his colleagues.
“I really got to know him in the commentary box in this part of the world, in India, loved by all Indians. He was just great company and great person to be around. Struggling to get my thoughts together today because he’s gone too young,” said former Australian batsmen Michael Slater who struggled to keep his emotions in check.
“I’m trying to be positive because I want to celebrate Deano. He made me feel so comfortable in Australia and also in India when I started broadcast. He was amazing for me,” added Kevin Pietersen.
Dean Jones had carved out a place for himself in the cricket commentary world with his insights and energetic delivery.
“We lost a great man today. A great cricket lover. He was not only a great player but he kept his passion throughout his broadcasting as well. He wasn’t afraid to have an opinion and we’ll miss him dearly,” added RCB coach Mike Hesson who shared the stage on the Star Sports’ show with Jones last season.
It was understandably a difficult time for the broadcasters. Host Neroli Meadows did an exceptional job to hold the show together and Twitter lauded their composure for getting through the show as Kings XI Punjab beat Royal Challenger Bangalore.