Former Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds passed away in a car accident on Saturday, May 14. He was 46 years old.
Symonds, a two-time ICC Cricket World Cup winner in 2003 and 2007, was involved in a single-car accident outside Townsville in Queensland state.
"Police are investigating a single-vehicle crash in Hervey Range, around 50 kilometres from Townsville that's taken the life of a 46-year-old man last night,” read an official statement from the Queensland police.
"Early information indicates, shortly after 11pm the car was being driven on Hervey Range Road, near Alice River Bridge when it left the roadway and rolled,” it added.
The emergency medics tried to revive Andrew Symonds but he died of his injuries.
A fearless striker of the ball, a bowler who could bowl medium pace and off-spin and an outstanding fielder, England-born Andrew Symonds made his debut for the Australian cricket team in a ODI against Pakistan in November 1998.
Symonds’ first shot to fame came in the 2003 Cricket World Cup, when his unbeaten 143 from 125 balls helped Australia recover from 86/4 to post a mammoth score of 310/8 against Pakistan. While facing the famed bowling line-up of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi, the all-rounder slammed 18 fours and two sixes to announce himself as a valuable asset in the middle-order for the Aussies.
Besides his exploits in cricket, Andrew Symonds would make the headlines for his off-field behavior and on-field controversies most notably the Monkeygate scandal. In a 2008 Sydney Test where he hit a career-best 162, Symonds was involved in a verbal altercation with India’s Harbhajan Singh where the latter made a racial comment.
Symonds’ passing comes two months after Australian cricket lost two stalwarts in Shane Warne and Rod Marsh. Less than 24 hours after Marsh died of heart-attack on March 4, Warne - the most successful Ashes bowler of all time and owner of the record for most Test wickets in a calendar year - was found dead in his room while holidaying in Koh Samui in Thailand.
In his 11-year international career that spanned between 1998 and 2009, Andrew Symonds registered 6,887 runs and took 165 wickets.
The all-rounder is the only Australian all-rounder to record 250 runs and 10 wickets in an ODI series twice, having done so in 2003/04 (349 runs, 10 wickets, Tri-series involving Australia, India and Zimbabwe) and 2005/06 (389 runs, 11 wickets, Tri-series involving Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka).
In Tests, Andrew Symonds is one of the notable cricketers to hit the most runs off a ball having scored eight runs in the 2008 Test against New Zealand at the Gabba.
Andrew Symonds is survived by his wife and two children.
Featured photo: AFP / MANAN VATSYAYANA