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Andrew Symonds, World Cup-Winning Australian Superstar, Dies In Car Crash

Andrew Symonds, who was part of World Cup-winning teams in 2003 and 2007 and also played in the Indian Premier League, was only 46.

Andrew Symonds, World Cup-Winning Australian Superstar, Dies In Car Crash
After retirement, Andrew Symonds became a popular commentator for cricket broadcasters. AP

Former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds has died after a single-vehicle car accident near Townsville in northeast Australia. He was 46. Cricket Australia reported Symonds’ death on its website on Sunday, citing a police statement with details of the accident late Saturday night. (More Cricket News)

According to Police, the 46-year-old Symonds was driving through the Hervey Range Road near Alice River Bridge where his car left the road and rolled shortly after 11 PM local time. Residents of the area were the ones to rush to the spot first and alerted the emergency services.    

However, he died at the scene despite several attempts to revive him. Gavin Oates, Townsville Acting Inspector, said the cause of the crash was not known. Symonds’ tragic news comes after the recent deaths of fellow Australians Shane Warne, Rod Marsh, and Dean Jones.

“That’s still being investigated at this stage. Forensic Crash Unit officers have attended the scene and are conducting the investigation and they will prepare a report for the coroner,” Oates was quoted as saying by abc.net.au.

Symonds played 26 Tests and 198 ODIs and was a crucial member of two World Cup-winning Australian teams in 2003 and 2007.

Symonds played for Queensland for 17 seasons and was player of the match in the 2002 Pura Cup final. He also played for Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire and Surrey in the English County Championship and for now-defunct Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

One of the finest all-rounders Australia has ever produced, the Queenslander was a larger-than-life figure who drew a widespread fan base during his peak years for not only his hard-hitting ways but his larrikin persona.

He was one of the most exciting and versatile all-rounders of his generation, bowling both off-spin and medium pace, and played many match-winning hands with his explosive hard-hitting middle-order batting. He was also one of the top fielders in world cricket.

However, controversies followed Symonds towards the fag end of his career. In 2008, he missed Australia's ODI series against Bangladesh after going fishing when he was required to attend a team meeting. He also was disciplined prior to the 2009 T20 World Cup for breaching team rules around alcohol.

Another major controversy that created a huge uproar was when Symonds accused former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh of calling him ‘monkey’ during the 2008 Sydney Test. Harbhajan was handed a one-Test ban following that game. Australia won the match by 122 runs with Symonds adjudged Man of the Match for his 162 not out, 61 and 3/15.  

In ODIs, his best was probably his unbeaten 143 from 125 balls against Pakistan at the 2003 World Cup. Australia went on to win the tournament, the first of Symonds’ twin World Cup successes with the other coming four years later in the West Indies.

Meanwhile, Symonds’ family is still in shock after the news. “We are still in shock – I’m just thinking of the two kids,” abc.net.au quoted Laura, Symonds’s wife, as saying to The Courier-Mail. “He was such a big person and there is just so much of him in his kids.”

However, tributes started flowing in for the former star. Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley, said: “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.”

“Shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Andrew Symonds. Gone too soon. Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. Prayers for the departed soul. #RIPSymonds,” tweeted Harbhajan Singh.  

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was also shocked to hear the news. “Simmo .. This doesn’t feel real .. #RIP,” Vaughan wrote. Former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble wrote, “Tragic news to hear of Andrew Symonds passing. Condolences to his family, friends and well wishers.”

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar said, “Devastated to hear about Andrew Symonds passing away in a car crash in Australia. We shared a great relationship on & off the field. Thoughts & prayers with the family. #AndrewSymonds”

“Terrible news to wake up to. Saddened to know that Andrew Symonds is no more. Gone way too soon 💔 Thoughts go out to his family and friends. May God give them strength to cope with this tragedy. #RIP,” tweeted Wasim Jaffer.

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