The time interval is only two months. Shane Warne died of a heart attack that stunned the cricketing world. The cricket world witnessed another such unimaginable bad news on Sunday. Andrew Symonds, former Australian all-rounder died in a crash of car. He was only 46!
Symonds was driving on Range Road, 50 kilometres from Townsville, Queensland, at 10:30 pm in Australian time. That’s when the accident happened. Police said although he was rushed to the scene but could not be rescued by paramedics. Most likely his car overturned off the road due to speeding. There was no one in the car except Symonds.
He played 26 Tests for the country. Total runs were 1826. He took 24 wickets with balls. He played 198 matches in limited overs cricket. Total runs 5088, wicket 133. He played 14 matches in T20 format cricket in a baggy green jersey. He also played in the teams of Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers in Indian Premier League. Symonds was born in 1975, on June 9 in Birmingham. Many say his biological parents are Afro-Caribbean. According to others, it is actually Danish-Swedish. He was adopted by an Australian couple.
Like his late teammate Warne, Symonds has been in the news headlines for his reckless life off the field, falling into a drunken stupor, and blatantly commenting in the role of commentator. Again, that controversial character has been seen in the role of defender. Queensland of Symonds and Western Australia played in the final of the Australian One Day Cricket in Perth in 1997. In the match, an outsider fell into the field, planning to ruin the match. Symonds tackled him vigorously as if he was playing football. Fearing for his life, the man was forced to leave the field.
The ‘Monkeygate’ controversy is still fresh in the minds of cricket fans. Symonds and Indian Cricketer Harbhajan Singh got into an argument during a Test in Sydney in 2008. The alleged Indian star made racist remarks. Australian federal court deported Harbhajan for three matches after hearing statements from two camps on the whole issue. It is said that Symonds was mentally broken since then. The belief that the Australian Board did not stand by him in times of crisis became strong. However, he cleared up the misunderstanding with Harbhajan while playing for Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
After getting the news of Symonds’ demise, Singh wrote in the media, “I mourn. He left early! Condolences to his family and friends. I pray for the peace of his soul.” Sachin Tendulkar also mourns like Harbhajan. He was also a teammate of Symonds in the Mumbai Indians team in the IPL. Posting a picture of him in the media, Sachin wrote, “It is impossible for all of us to accept this untimely departure of Andrew Symonds. He was not only a great all-rounder, he also had a colourful character on the field. I have many fond memories of him in Mumbai Indians. I wish him peace of soul. Condolences to his family and friends.” Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting, two former Australian teammates, were devastated by the death of Symonds after Shane Warne’s sudden departure. “He was a great man at heart more than being a cricketer of outstanding talent”, said Ponting.