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Sports News

Family bid farewell to Australian great Jones with lap of MCG

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Derbyshire Photocall 1997 - County Ground Dean Jones - Derbyshire Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Stuart Franklin/File photo

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - The life of Australian cricketer Dean Jones was remembered at a small, private funeral over the weekend which included a lap of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, video footage posted online on Wednesday showed.

Former test and one-day batsman Jones died at 59 last month after suffering a cardiac arrest at a hotel in India where he was working as a TV pundit for a local broadcaster.

A hearse carrying Jones’s handmade Indian coffin and decorated with a floral arrangement of ‘324’, his Australian test cap number, drove a lap around the empty MCG as Elton John’s “Rocket Man” played over loudspeakers.

Jones’s wife Jane, daughters Isabella and Phoebe, and his siblings were among a small group at the ceremony.

Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital, limits funeral services to 10 people due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“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,” Jane Jones said in comments published by Australian media.

“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.”

Jones, known affectionately as ‘Deano’ by the global cricket community, played 52 tests and 164 ODIs.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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