Former Australia all-rounder and two-time World Cup winner Andrew Symonds has died in a car accident in Queensland.
The accident occurred in Hervey Range, 50 km from Townsville, on Saturday night.
Queensland Police are investigating the crash. The police statement described it as a single vehicle incident.
“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,” the statement read.
“Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant, however, he died of his injuries.”
Cricket Australia chairman Lachlan Henderson said Australian cricket had lost “another of its very best”.
“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 said in a statement.
“On behalf of Australian cricket our deepest sympathies are with Andrew’s family, team-mates, and friends.”
Symonds was a member of Australia’s World Cup-winning teams in 2003 and 2007 and appeared in 198 one-day internationals in addition to 14 T20 Internationals.
Popularly known as Roy, Symonds knew he was adopted from the time he was old enough to talk. Symonds’ adoptive parents Ken and Barbara took him in when he was 15 months old.
The 46-year-old played 26 Tests for Australia, scoring 1462 runs at 40.61 and picking up 24 wickets with his handy off spin and medium pace bowling.
His brilliant 162 not out against India in the 2008 Sydney Test helped Australia to a 122-run victory, but the game was mired in controversy. Symonds accused Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh of calling him a “monkey”, triggering a war of words between the two teams and a threat by India to return home, after Singh was initially suspended for three games.
“Everyone had him earmarked as a white ball player,” former team mate Mark Taylor told Channel Nine.
“He was just an entertainer. He wanted to go out there and have fun and play the game he remembered to play it as a kid. At times he got in trouble for not going to training or maybe having a few too many beers…but that is the way he lived his life and the way he wanted to play his cricket also.”
In recent years Symonds had worked as a TV commentator for Fox Sports and was a regular on the microphone for Big Bash League broadcasts.
Symonds’s death occurred with Australian cricket still coming to terms with the passing of all-time greats Rod Marsh and Shane Warne, who both died in March.
Symonds was a part of the fifth season of the Indian reality show Big Boss for two weeks as a special guest in 2011, charming fans and learning to make rotis and curries.
Cricketers condoled the loss of Symonds on Twitter:
“Andrew Symond’s demise is shocking news for all of us to absorb. Not only was he a brilliant all-rounder, but also a live-wire on the field. I have fond memories of the time we spent together in Mumbai Indians. May his soul rest in peace, condolences to his family & friends” – Sachin Tendulkar
“Think of your most loyal, fun, loving friend who would do anything for you. That’s Roy”. – Adam Gilchrist
“Horrendous news to wake up to. Utterly devastated. We are all gonna miss you mate. #RIPRoy” – Jason Gillespie
“Simmo .. This doesn’t feel real .. #RIP” – Michael Vaughan
“Tragic news to hear of Andrew Symonds passing. Condolences to his family, friends and well wishers” – Anil Kumble
“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 Singh
“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” – Shoaib Akhtar
(Agencies; Picture Courtesy: Getty Images)