Australian cricketer Dean Jones, on Saturday, was given a private farewell by his family with a lap of honour of an empty MCG in Melbourne, as the ground's public address system played tunes by Elton John and INXS, musicians the former Australian batsman had counted among his many friends.
The memorial service was limited to only 10 attendees due to Victoria’s ongoing coronavirus lockdown, while a public memorial service is planned for a time when more mourners will be permitted to attend. Before his coffin was carried around the venue where he played six of his 52 Test matches and countless state and club fixtures, Jones was remembered by those closest to him. Dean Jones moved from his father Barney's club Carlton to the Melbourne Cricket Club in the 1980s.
His wife Jane Jones said that the family had been extremely moved by the way her husband's life and cricket had been remembered and revered by so many.
"We have been deeply moved by the outpouring of love for Dean over the last week and can't thank everyone enough for their support and for sharing their memories with us, it has been an awful time to navigate as a family, but I could not have thought of a more fitting place to say goodbye to my husband than under the lights of his beloved MCG.”
The former Australian cricketer and commentator had died of a cardiac arrest in Mumbai on September 24 at the age of 59. Jones was in Mumbai as part of the Star Sports commentary team for the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) and was in the bio-bubble in a hotel.
“What better way to honour him than with the music of his friends Elton John and INXS echoing throughout the empty stadium. We would like to extend a huge thank you to the Melbourne Cricket Club and the MCG for their willingness to create our personal tribute to Dean and for Cricket Australia's support,” Jane said.
“We would also like to extend a big thank you to the Department of Foreign Affairs for ensuring Dean was returned home to us as quickly as possible. We will forever miss Dean's energy, his zest for life, passion for cricket and his love for us as a family,” she added.
Dean Jones played 52 tests and 164 ODIs for Australia amassing nearly 10000 runs in both formats together.