Australian cricket great Mark Taylor has opened up about a startling admission from former teammate Dean Jones about his heart issues that would eventually kill him.
The cricketing world is still in shock after Jones died from a massive heart attack in his hotel lobby in Mumbai on Thursday aged 59.
The former right-handed batsman was in the subcontinent as part as Star India’s commentating team for the IPL 2020 alongside fellow Australian Brett Lee, who desperately tried to save Jones’ life.
While Taylor was shocked to hear the news, he knew Jones had some heart problems which he spoke about with former Australia teammates at a golf charity day in Moree in north-west NSW several years ago.
Australian cricket great Dean Jones died from a massive heart attack this week. He’d pictured with wife Jane (left) and their daughters, Augusta (right) and Phoebe (second from the left)
‘I couldn’t believe it although, having said that, I had a couple of beers with Deano about three years ago at a golf day … sitting there was myself, Peter Taylor and I think Ian Healy,’ Taylor recalled on Channel Nine’s Sports Sunday.
‘And he talked about some heart issues then. That’s three or four years ago now, so it’s obviously something in his family because I believe his father died of a heart attack, or certainly heart-related issues, so there may well have been something there.’
‘But you didn’t expect it from Deano.
‘Like all of us he’s not as fit as he was when he played. He was still going to the gym, still running, still reasonably fit.’
In a segment dedicated to Jones, Taylor also spoke of the shock of finding out the news via a What’s Up message from his former opening batting partner Michael Slater, who is also currently commenting in India.
‘You talk about 59 years of age, that’s a young age,’ the former Australian captain said.
‘When you first get a message like that, you don’t quite believe it. You think somehow the lines of communication have been blurred between Dubai and Mumbai — then everything started flooding in and I thought, ‘This is real.’
Former Australian cricket captain Mark Taylor paid tribute to Jones on Sports Sunday
Jones had a huge impact in Taylor’s second Test for Australia in 1989.
‘Jones made 216 against a very good West Indian attack with Ambrose, Walsh and Michael Marshall in it,’ Taylor recalled.
‘I made 20. I paved the way for Deano to go in and make that score. You could see then a real talent.
‘We weren’t setting the world on fire at a good track on Adelaide Oval. Deano took to the West Indies, when he got on top of you he was hard to stop because his confidence would grow and grow. His scoring rate would grow and grow.
Taylor also remembered Jones’ genuine affection and passion for the game and being the trailblazer as the first player to wear sunglasses on the field, much to the displeasure of his then captain, Allan Border, and coach, Bob Simpson.
Mark Taylor (left) is congratulated by Dean Jones (right) on making a century during the first match of the 1989 Ashes against England
Jones, 59, died of a ‘massive’ heart attack at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai on Thursday, leaving the cricket world in shock and mourning the loss of one of the game’s legends.
A minute’s silence was held before Saturday’s Trans-Tasman game between the Australian women’s team and New Zealand in memory of Jones.
Meanwhile, the mother of Dean Jones’ young son knew that the cricket great ‘loved him’, and has revealed her own ‘heartbreak’ over his shock death.
Koby Dean Hamilton, 11, is Jones’ son to Kerri-Anne Hamilton – the cricket star’s well documented former mistress.
Ms Hamilton met Jones when she was working at a golf day in the late 1990s and the pair began an affair.
In early 2009 Kerri-Anne Hamilton (pictured) fell pregnant with Jones’ child and by mid-2010 the story was out, with her sharing her tale to A Current Affair leading the former batsman to admit it was his
The married father-of-two would regularly travel from Melbourne to Sydney to see her and the couple enjoyed overseas holidays together.
But in early 2009, Ms Hamilton fell pregnant and by mid-2010 the affair had become public.
Ms Hamilton told Sydney Morning Herald she decided to speak out about her former lover’s death for her son Koby.
‘It’s an awful time for his wife and his other kids. I’m not trying to step out of line. I want to speak to you for Koby,’ she said.
Jones, 59, died of a ‘massive’ heart attack at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai on Thursday
‘I don’t want Koby to go to school and for kids to say, ”we didn’t see you”. How do we know you were his son. He deserves acknowledgement.’
In the wake of Jones’ passing, Koby told Ms Hamilton: ‘It’s OK, Mum. I know my dad loved me.’
Ms Hamilton said the father and son spoke as recently as two days before Jones’ death.
Koby Dean Hamilton, 11, is Jones’ son to Kerri-Anne Hamilton – the cricket star’s well documented former mistress
Alongside Koby, Jones leaves behind his daughter’s Augusta (right) and Phoebe (second from left) – who he had with his wife Jane (left)
The former batsman took his son on a FaceTime tour of the studio he was working at.
Ms Hamilton said she was ‘heartbroken’ over Jones’ death.
Despite only meeting Koby after he was two years old, Ms Hamilton said Jones always checked to make sure the pair were okay.
He would video call his son daily and the duo would discuss all things sport.
Ms Hamilton added Jones will always be her son’s hero.
Ms Hamilton initially shared her tale on A Current Affair in 2010 and Jones confirmed the child was his.
‘Following an on-and-off relationship with a woman, a child was conceived and subsequently delivered,’ he said in a statement at the time.
Jones is seen batting during the 1987 World Cup match against India on October 9, 1987
After a preview for Ms Hamilton’s interview with A Current Affair in 2010 referenced a romance with a mystery ‘retired cricketer’, Jones came out to set the record straight.
‘I can confirm that I am the retired cricketer referred to in the A Current Affair preview last night (Friday),’ he said in a statement.
‘Following an on-and-off relationship with a women (sic), a child was conceived and subsequently delivered. I can also confirm I have supported the mother and child more generously than was agreed.
‘At no stage have I not met my obligations.
‘My immediate aim is to seek the forgiveness and understanding of family.’
News of Jones’ death at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai, India, late on Thursday night Australian time, has left the cricket world in shock and mourning the loss of one of the game’s legends.
Jones had been staying in the Mumbai hotel with Brian Lara (second from right), Graeme Swann, Scott Styris (right) and Brett Lee (second from left)
The former flashy batsman and 1980s icon was in India commentating on the IPL T20 tournament alongside a host of other retired superstars of the game.
Former Australian bowler Brett Lee was in the hotel lobby with Jones at the time of his heart attack and desperately tried to save him with CPR and a defibrillator.
Jones was rushed to hospital but couldn’t be saved.
The pair were in the city as part of Star India’s commentary team for the Indian Premier League, which is being played in the UAE because of coronavirus.
Jones had been staying at the hotel with Styris, Lee, West Indies legend Brian Lara and former England spinner Graeme Swann.
Alongside Koby, Jones leaves behind his daughter’s Augusta and Phoebe – who he had with his wife Jane.
Jones’ daughter Phoebe said her family is ‘broken’ in an Instagram post mourning the loss of her father.
Jones’ daughter Phoebe said her family is ‘broken’ in an Instagram post mourning the loss of her father
The tribute post was accompanied by a happy snap from her childhood (pictured)
The tribute post was accompanied by a happy snap from her childhood.
She is wearing Jones’ cricket cap and sitting on his shoulders grinning, as he looks up at her in awe.
‘Our family is eternally grateful to Brett Lee for doing everything he could,’ she said.
Phoebe thanked cricket fans across the world who put their bats out in honour of ‘Deano’.
‘We are overwhelmed with your outpouring of kind words, support and tributes,’ she said.
‘His legacy will live on in every life he touched.
‘I just keep staring at my phone waiting for him to call and tell me this is just a bad dream.’
Jones’ daughter Augusta opened up about her heartbreak with a post on Instagram on Friday
The world has been left rocked by the death of cricket legend Dean Jones. His daughter Augusta shared a heartfelt post asking: ‘How will I do this without you?’
His other daughter, Augusta shared a series of pictures with her dad as a tribute.
‘I cannot believe I am writing this. My heart is broken, My Dad. My Hero. The sweetest and most caring person you could ever meet,’ she wrote.
‘If only you could see now how many lives you touched. If only you could see now how loved you were.
‘You held my hand through the toughest times this year, how will I do this without you?
‘The heavens have opened their gates for another angel. Wait for me dad. Everything I do is for you. I love you Dad.’
Mourners have offered their condolences to the Jones family (pictured), following the shock death of the cricketing legend