Dean Jones' wife Jane has opened up about her husband's sudden death which rocked the sporting world on Thursday.
Jones died of a cardiac arrest aged 59 in a Mumbai hotel while working in India as a broadcaster for the Indian Premier League.
In a statement provided through the Melbourne Cricket Club, Jane expressed gratitude for the immense support her family has received following the tragic loss. Jane and Dean were married for 34 years.
"My girls and I are devastated and saddened beyond belief to hear of Dean's death in India. My beautiful husband, the love of my life has lived his life with every bit of energy at his disposal, and he leaves an enormous gap in our lives which can never be filled," Jane said.
"He leaves us with so many wonderful memories that will last forever. At this challenging time, when our grief is so raw, we have drawn much consolation from the many messages of goodwill and support from so many people around the world.
"Given Dean's special love for the subcontinent, it was especially touching to hear so broadly from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. We are overwhelmed by the scale of the response to the news of his death and we will forever be grateful for that.
"At this moment, we would sincerely ask the cricketing world to respect the privacy of our family. Details of Dean's memorial celebration will be released in due course, so everyone has the chance to rightly commemorate his wonderful legacy and bid farewell."
The Australian High Commission in India is reportedly assisting Jones' family in having his body returned to Melbourne.
Jane also thanked former Australian bowler Brett Lee who performed CPR on Jones, reviving the Victorian twice before his death. Lee reportedly broke the devastating news to Jane.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews paid his respects to Jones at his Covid-19 press conference on Friday, suggesting the possibility of a state funeral.
"I think every Victorian is saddened to see such a great Victorian lost to us so young. Dean Jones was not just a great cricketer, but a great person," Andrews said.
"I had opportunities to meet with him and I always found him to be an absolutely fantastic Victorian and I want to extend on behalf of all Victorians our condolences and best wishes, our love and support to all of Dean Jones' family and of course to all of his many, many fans.
"A great Victorian has been lost to us and we all mourn that loss."
Jones' daughter Phoebe shared a sweet tribute to her father and thanked Lee for his attempts in a social media post.
"We are broken," Phoebe wrote.
"Our family is eternally grateful to @brettlee_58 for doing everything he could.
"We are overwhelmed with your outpouring of kind words, support and tributes. 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."
Phoebe's tight relationship with her father is evident in several other posts, including recently when their access to each other was restricted by Victoria's Covid lockdown.
Jones' other daughter Isabella also paid tribute to her late father on social media: "My heart is broken. My Dad. My Hero. The sweetest and most caring person you could ever meet.
"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."
A minute's silence was observed for Jones ahead of the first women's T20 match between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon.