Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Former Test cricketer Andrew Symonds dies in auto accident

Former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds, who has died following a single-vehicle auto accident, was a big-hitting all-rounder who built a credible Test career and was an example of the Australian game’s prized larrikin tradition. He was 46 years old.

“Australian cricket has lost another of its best. Andrew was a generational genius who was instrumental in Australia’s success at the World Cup and as part of Queensland’s rich cricket history,” Cricket Australia president Lachlan Henderson said in a statement on Sunday. ) was a cultured person. fans and friends. ,

Cricket Australia reported details of Symonds’ death on its website, citing a police statement with details of the accident near the northeastern city of Townsville in Queensland state late Saturday.

It described Symonds as “a cult hero” and “a larger-than-life person”, who gained a wide fan base during his peak years not only for his hard ways but also for his Larrykin persona.

Symonds’ wife Laura told the Courier-Mail newspaper the family was in shock.

“He was such a big person and his kids are just that,” she said.

Tall, broad-shouldered and fearful, his face stained with zinc cream, Symonds had a striking physical appearance. He was born in Birmingham, England to a father who was believed to be of Afro-Caribbean heritage. His adoptive parents moved to Australia when he was an infant.

Symonds was able to hit the ball exceptionally hard and early in his career some coaches dismissed him as just a big-hitter whose unquenchable appetite for sixes would limit his progress.

But he could also bowl fast medium pace and off break and was an athletic fielder who was able to build a reliable Test career.

Symonds played 26 Test matches for Australia from 2004–2008, scoring two centuries, but was best known as a limited overs specialist. He played 198 One Day Internationals for Australia and won World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007.

The 2007–2008 season was his finest in Test cricket and was capped by a scintillating 162 against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

It was in the same year that he famously fell as a naked pitch attacker during a One Day International against India at the Gabba ground in Brisbane, hitting him with a rugby-style shoulder charge.

He explained years later that he was raised not to take a backward step.

“There’s a lot of adrenaline in the heat of competition and it can be frustrating when someone interrupts a match like this,” he said.

Symonds was a fan of rugby league, and Australia’s National Rugby League planned to observe a minute’s silence as a tribute to the cricket star before Sunday’s match between the North Queensland Cowboys and West Tigers in Brisbane.

In One Day Internationals, his best innings was an unbeaten 143 off 125 balls against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup, when he was far from being established in the Australian team. Australia won the tournament.

After retiring as a player, Symonds became a popular commentator for cricket broadcasts.

Former Australia captain Allan Border said that Symonds “hit the ball too long and just wanted to have fun.

“He was kind of an old-fashioned cricketer,” Border told the Nine Network. “He was an adventurer, he loved fishing, he loved hiking, camping. People liked his very laid-back attitude.”

Symonds famously attended an initial contract meeting with Australian cricket chief executive Malcolm Speed, barefoot and wearing a cowboy hat. He retained that disdain for convention throughout his career, and it was part of his appeal to fans.

But he came into conflict with power late in his career. In 2008 he missed Australia’s one-day series against Bangladesh after going fishing when he was required to attend a team meeting. He was disciplined for violating team rules around alcohol prior to the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup.

Early in his career he was a close friend and collaborator of Michael Clarke, who would later become Australia’s captain. The pair broke up when Clarke condemned aspects of Symonds’ conduct and Symonds publicly criticized Clarke’s leadership.

Clark wrote in his autobiography My Story, “Some former teammates would take his side, and feed his belief that I let him down and put forward the ambition.” “I will say that he disappointed me too – that if he understood intercourse as a two-way street, he would see that I had to do what was right for the whole team.”

Symonds’ loss is another bitter blow to Australian cricket after legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne died in Thailand in March. Wicketkeeper Rod Marsh also passed away in March at the age of 74.

Nation World News Desk
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