Former Swashbuckling all-rounder Andrew Symonds has been killed in a car accident, Cricket Australia said on Sunday, in another tragic blow to the sport following the recent deaths of fellow greats 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, Queensland , Saturday night.
Police said emergency services attempted to revive the driver and sole occupant, but he died of his injuries after the car left the road and rolled away.
“Australian cricket has lost another of its best,” Cricket Australia chairman Lachlan Henderson said in a statement.
“Andrew was a generational talent who was instrumental in Australia’s success at World Cups and as part of Queensland’s rich cricketing history.
“He was a cult figure to many who was cherished by his fans and friends,” he added.
Symonds’ fatal accident comes just months after the deaths of fellow Australians Warne and Marsh, who both died unexpectedly of a heart attack.
“Unfortunately I’ve been here too many times this year under these circumstances. I actually can’t believe it, to be honest,” former Australia captain Mark Taylor told Channel Nine. “Another tragic day for cricket.”
The larger-than-life Symonds was immensely popular, not only for his hard-hitting approach to the game, but also for his laid-back personality.
He was widely regarded as one of the most skilled all-around Australian cricketers Australian cricket had seen, playing both off-rotation and mid-pace, while playing many winning hands with his explosive mid-range batting.
Symonds was also a top-notch outfielder and played a key role in Australia’s back-to-back wins at over 50 World Cups in 2003 and 2007.
Domestically, he played for Queensland for 17 seasons, while appearing for Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire and Surrey in the English County Championship and for the Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians in the Premier League Indian.
– Completely devastated’ –
“Horrible news to wake up to,” former Australia teammate Jason Gillespie tweeted. “Completely devastated. We will all miss you mate.”
Adam Gilchrist, another former teammate who recently commented alongside Symonds at Fox Sports, wrote: “It really hurts”, while Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said he was “devastated”.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan said: “Simmo…it doesn’t feel real #RIP.”
Symonds, who was born in England to a parent of Afro-Caribbean descent, will also be remembered for the infamous “monkeygate” scandal that sent him on a downward spiral.
He accused Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh of calling him a “monkey” during the 2008 New Year’s Eve test in Sydney.
Singh, who has denied any wrongdoing, was suspended for three matches. The ban was overturned when India threatened to quit the tour in a low point for cricketing relations between India and Australia.
The Aussie player later revealed that it was expensive.
“From then on it was my slide,” he recalled in 2018. “I started drinking a lot because of that and my life started to dissolve around me.”
His contract with Cricket Australia was withdrawn in June 2009 after he was sent home from the World Twenty20 in England following the latest in a series of alcohol-related indiscretions.
Despite the animosity, Symonds and Harbhajan eventually reconciled and played together in the Indian Premier League, with the Australian forging a successful career as a respected television commentator after his retirement.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)