Andrew Symonds was unlike any other Aussie cricketer, even off the field | Sunday Observer

Andrew Symonds was unlike any other Aussie cricketer, even off the field

22 May, 2022

The death of former Australia cricketer Andrew Symonds who was killed in a car crash in the state of Queensland last Sunday was another significant loss for Australian cricket, following the deaths of former wicketkeeper Rod Marsh and legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne earlier this year, the BBC reported.

Cricket Australia chair Lachlan Henderson said: “Australian cricket has lost another of its very best. Andrew was a generational talent who was instrumental in Australia’s success at World Cups and as part of Queensland’s rich cricket history. He was a cult figure to many who was treasured by his fans and friends.”

CEO Nick Hockley added: “Andrew was a much-loved and admired cricketer in Australia and around the world. He was a prodigious talent from an early age in Queensland with his clean ball-striking ability, shrewd spin bowling and brilliant fielding.

“He will be sadly missed by the Australian cricket community and particularly his very close friends at the Queensland Bulls where he was a popular and much-admired team-mate and friend. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this devastatingly sad time.”

Symonds, who could bowl off-spin or medium pace, was best known for his exploits in ODI cricket, in which he scored 5,088 runs at an average of 39.75 and also took 133 wickets.

He scored his first of two Test hundreds in the Boxing Day Ashes Test of 2006, hitting 156 as Australia won by an innings and 99 runs in Melbourne.

But his career was not without controversy. In 2009, he was sent home from the World Twenty20 in England for disciplinary reasons, which precipitated the end of his international career.

Earlier, during the 2005 tour of England, he was dropped for two ODIs after turning up drunk to a match against Bangladesh in Cardiff.

In August 2008, he was sent home from Australia’s one-day series against Bangladesh in Darwin after missing a compulsory team meeting in order to go fishing.

Tributes to Symonds, who was nicknamed “Roy”, poured in from around the cricketing world, including from former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist and fast bowler Jason Gillespie - team-mates of Symonds at the 2003 World Cup.

His exploits with Gloucestershire that he had initially represented as a domestic player, earned him a call-up for an England A tour in 1995 - but he declined the offer and chose to pursue his ambitions to play for Australia, making his ODI debut three years later.

He had jointly held the record for most sixes hit in a County Championship innings - he hit 16 in a knock for Gloucestershire against Glamorgan in 1995 - until Ben Stokes bettered his total last week.

Born in Birmingham but raised in Australia, Symonds played county cricket in the UK for Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire and Surrey.

He also played for Queensland for 17 seasons, and for Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. (BBC Sport)