BENGALURU: Former Australia cricketer and two-time World Cup winner Andrew Symonds on Saturday night died in a car crash at the age of 46.
The flamboyant all-rounder appeared in 198 ODIs and 26 Tests for Australia between 1998 and 2009. An audacious batsman, utility bowler and an electric fielder, Symonds was one of the most influential and impactful limited-overs cricketers of his time.
The news of Symonds’ demise comes just months after the shocking death of Australian spin wizard Shane Warne in Thailand, who died of a cardiac arrest.
“Australian cricket has lost another of its very 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 cricket history.
“He was a cult figure to many who was treasured by his fans and friends,” he added.
The swashbuckling cricketer scored 5088 runs in 198 ODIs at a robust average of 39.75. He smashed 30 half centuries and 6 hundreds in his ODI career and was an important part of the Australian team that won the 2003 and 2007 World Cup.
He featured in 198 ODIs – scoring six centuries and 30 half-centuries – while also contributing 133 wickets with his more than handy off-spin and medium pace.
His greatest innings came against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup as he hammered an unbeaten 143 at Johannesburg to pull his team out of the woods and helped Australia remain unbeaten throughout the tournament.
In the semi-final, he once again stepped up and reeled off an unbeaten 91 against Sri Lanka as Australia won the low-scoring match by 48 runs.
Symonds was also a part of the Deccan Chargers team which won the Indian Premier League in 2009. In the final, his brisk cameo – 33 off 21 balls – was instrumental in his team defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore.
“He was, in a way, a little bit of an old-fashioned cricketer,” Former Australian captain Allan Border said. “He was an adventurer, and loved fishing, hiking, and camping. People liked his very laid-back style.”
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
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) May 15, 2022
His one-time adversary, Harbhajan Singh, expressed grief at his untimely demise. “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,” he wrote on Twitter.