Former Swashbuckling parade Andrew Symonds was killed in a car crash, Cricket Australia said on Sunday, in another tragic blow to the sport following the recent deaths of his teammates Shane Warne and Rod Marsh.
The 46-year-old, who played 26 Tests and 198 one-day internationals for Australia from 1998 to 2009, was involved in a single-car crash outside Townsville in the state of Queensland on Saturday night.
Police said the emergency services tried to revive the driver and the lone occupant, but he died from his injuries after the car left the road and rolled over.
“Australian cricket has gone after another one of its best,” Australian Cricket chairman Lachlan Henderson said in a statement.
“Andrew’s intergenerational talent was central to Australia’s success at the World Cup and part of Queensland’s rich cricketing history.
“He was a cult for many people who were highly regarded by his fans and friends,” he said.
Symonds fatal crash months immediately after death of fellow Australian senators Warne and Marsh, who died unexpectedly of heart attacks.
“Unfortunately I have been here too often this year under these circumstances. I can’t really believe it, to be honest, “former Australian captain Mark Taylor told Channel Nine. “Another tragic day for cricket.”
Symonds was more popular than ever, not only for his hard-working approach to the game but also for his easy-going personality.
He was widely regarded as one of the most skilled cricketers the Australians have ever seen, bowling between off-turn and medium speed, playing many game-winning hands with his explosive mid-order batting.
Symonds was also an outstanding player and was instrumental in Australia’s 50 – over World Cup 50 – over victory in 2003 and 2007.
At home, he played for Queensland for 17 seasons, appearing for Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire and Surrey in the English County Championship and for Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians at Indian Prison.
“Terrible news to make,” tweeted former Australian colleague Jason Gillespie. “It simply came to our notice then. We are all far from you, my friends. ”
Adam Gilchrist, a former team-mate who recently commented alongside Symonds at Fox Sports, wrote: “This hurts,” and Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said he was “devastated”.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan said: “Simmo … this does not feel real #RIP.”
Symonds, who was born in England to a single parent of Afro-Caribbean descent, will also be remembered for the infamous “monkeygate” scandal that plunged him into a downward spiral.
He accused Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh of calling him a “monkey” at the 2008 Sydney New Year’s Trial.
Singh, who denied any wrongdoing, was suspended for three games. The ban was lifted when India threatened to cancel the tour at a low point for India-Australia cricket relations.
The Australian player later revealed he took a heavy toll.
“From that moment on that was my downhill slide,” he recalled in 2018. “As a result I started drinking heavily and my life was starting to fall apart.”
His Cricket Australia contract was withdrawn in June 2009 after his return from the World Twenty20 in England following the latest in an alcohol-related indiscretion series.
Despite the empire, Symonds and Harbhajan eventually made up and played together in the Indian Premier League, with the Australian creating a successful career as a respected television commentator after his retirement.
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