I will always associate the big-hearted Aussie spirit when I think of 'Deano'. He was full of life and full of stories. Dean Jones witnessed my first ever stint as a cricket host during the ICL in 2008-09. Over the years, I have had a chance to host some high-profile cricket events including the World Cup and the Indian Premier League. We were continuously reunited. Deano was always highly encouraging and respectful, and I have learned so much from him as a broadcaster. He has been a huge part of my journey as a broadcaster and has watched me evolve over the years. It has been over a decade of friendship.
There are too many Deano anecdotes to recall. The best part of Deano was his self-deprecating humour. We could always pull his leg over the Chennai Test or an Australian result. He was incredibly accommodating as a studio guest. The conversation and humour just flowed with him.
One thing that I will always remember about him will be how he was up for anything as a broadcaster. An iconic cricketer like Dean Jones could have had a huge ego. From dancing in studio, to making biryani, to interviewing a dog on the beach, Deano was up for anything. He was the perfect mix of stats, knowledge, insight and entertainment.
His energy levels were unmatched. His commitment to cricket leagues that were often outside his comfort zone was something I admired. His ability to seamlessly integrate himself within any cricket broadcast around the globe is what made him special.
Deano has followed my entire professional career and has always been highly supportive. He knew both Stuart and I individually during the ICL, and was thrilled when we decided to get married. His last interaction with me was a few days ago, when he blessed my new born son. A message I will cherish forever. Rest in peace Professor!
(As told to Neeru Bhatia)