Former Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds died in a car accident on Sunday, according to local newspapers and fellow players, contributing to the recent tragedies of Shane Warne and Rod Marsh in the sport.
The 46-year-old was involved in a unilateral collision outside of Townsville, Queensland on Saturday night, after playing 26 Tests and 198 one-day internationals.
According to police, emergency services attempted to resuscitate the driver and the sole occupant, but he died of his injuries after the car ran off the road and rolled.
Symonds was not named by authorities, but he was easily identified by media and former players. Former Australian teammate Jason Gillespie tweeted: “Terrible news to wake up to.” “I am absolutely devastated. We will all miss you, friend.”
“This absolutely stings,” noted Adam Gilchrist, a former teammate and fellow commentator, as Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar expressed his “devastation.” “On and off the pitch we had a fantastic friendship. With condolences and thoughts for the family” He tweeted.
Think of your most loyal, fun, loving friend who would do anything for you. That’s Roy.
— Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381) May 15, 2022
Symonds’ death comes just months after other Australian legends Shane Warne and Rod Marsh, who also died of a heart attack. The larger-than-life characters Symonds were loved not only for his tough playing style, but also for his easygoing demeanor.
He was widely regarded as one of Australia’s most talented all-rounders and a crucial player of the team that won 50-over World Cups time and again in 2003 and 2007. However, he is best known for the infamous “monkeygate” affair in 2008, which sent him into a downward spiral.
In the 2008 New Year’s Test in Sydney, Symonds claimed that Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh referred to him as a “monkey.” Singh was banned for three games despite being denied guilt, but the suspension was lifted when India threatened to withdraw from the tour during a low stint in India-Australia cricket relations.
It took its toll on the Australian player, who went on to admit that he started drinking regularly. After being sent home from the World Twenty20 in England for the latest in a string of alcohol-related offences, his Cricket Australia contract was revoked in June 2009.
Despite their animosity, Symonds and Harbhajan reconciled and joined the Indian Premier League together.
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