Dean Jones was privately farewelled by his family with a lap of honour of an empty MCG on Saturday, 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.
In a memorial service limited to just 10 attendees by Victoria’s ongoing coronavirus lockdown, Jones was remembered by those closest to him, before his coffin was conveyed around the venue where he played six of his 52 Test matches and countless state and club fixtures: Jones moved from his father Barney’s club Carlton to the Melbourne Cricket Club in the 1980s.
While a public memorial service is planned for a time when more mourners will be permitted to attend, 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,” she said. “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.
“What better way to honour him than with the music of his friends Elton John and INXS echoing throughout the empty stadium. We’d 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.
“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.”
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.