Andrew Symonds, Australian cricketer, died in a car accident
Cricket Australia announced Sunday that swashbuckling former all-rounder Andrew Symonds had died in a car accident, adding to the sport’s recent tragedies of Shane Warne and Rod Marsh.
The 46-year-old was involved in a single-car accident outside Townsville, Queensland, on Saturday night, after playing 26 Tests and 198 one-day internationals for Australia between 1998 and 2009.
According to police, emergency personnel attempted to resuscitate the driver and sole occupant, but he died as a result of his injuries after the car left the road and rolled. In a statement, Cricket Australia chairman Lachlan Henderson said, “Australian cricket has lost another of its very best.”
“Andrew was a once-in-a-generation talent who helped Australia win World Cups and was a part of Queensland’s rich cricket history.
“To many, he was a cult figure who was cherished by his fans and friends,” he continued.
Symonds’ death comes just months after the unexpected deaths of fellow Australian greats Warne and Marsh, who both died of heart attacks. “Unfortunately, in these circumstances, I’ve been here far too often this year.” To be honest, I can’t believe it,” former Australia captain Mark Taylor told Channel Nine. “Cricket has had yet another tragic day.”
Symonds was also an excellent fielder, playing a key role in Australia’s back-to-back 50-over World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007. He spent 17 seasons with Queensland, as well as stints with Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire, and Surrey in the English County Championship, and Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
Symonds, who was born in England and had one Afro-Caribbean parent, is also known for the infamous “monkeygate” scandal, which sent him into a downward spiral.
In the 2008 New Year Test in Sydney, he claimed India spinner Harbhajan Singh called him a “monkey.” Singh was suspended for three games after denying any wrongdoing.
In a low point for India-Australia cricket relations, the ban was overturned when India threatened to quit the tour.
It took a heavy toll on the Australian player, who later revealed. “That was the beginning of my downhill slide,” he said in 2018. “As a result, I began to drink heavily, and my life began to disintegrate around me.”
After being sent home from the World Twenty20 in England following the latest in a series of alcohol-related indiscretions, his Cricket Australia contract was withdrawn in June 2009. Despite their animosity, Symonds and Harbhajan reconciled and played together in the Indian Premier League, with the Australian going on to have a successful career as a respected television commentator following his retirement.
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