Jane Jones, Dean Jones' wife of 34 years and the mother of their two children, has spoken of the family's grief at losing the 59-year-old to a heart attack and of their gratefulness for the global outpouring of gratitude for his eventful life in cricket.

A major commemorative celebration will take place for Jones, with his wife indicating that the family was eager for his life and contribution to so many would be rightly and appropriately recognised in memorium.

Plans are in motion to return Jones' body to Australia after he died in Mumbai on Thursday while working as an IPL analyst for Star Sports alongside the likes of Scott Styris and Brett Lee. Jane Jones singled out Lee for thanks for his well-publicised effort to try to keep her husband alive.

"My girls and I are devastated and saddened beyond belief to hear of Dean's death in India," Jane Jones said in a statement. "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. 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 sub-continent, 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. We want to especially thank and acknowledge Brett Lee's tireless efforts to keep Dean alive."

Dean and Janes Jones were married in Toorak in 1986 and had made a home with their daughters in the Macedon Ranges town of Romsey, about an hour's drive to the north-west of Melbourne, over the past 25 years.

"At this moment, we would sincerely ask the cricketing world to respect the privacy of our family," Jones said. "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."