Andrew Symonds Obituary | Loved By Team Mates, Let Down By His Own

Andrew Symonds, who died on Saturday night in a car accident at the age of 46, was immediately recognized on the cricket field with a mop of dreadlocks sticking out of his baggy green hat and his lips glistening with white zinc cream.

A huge presence of 1.87 m with a grin as wide as his shoulders, he was an incredibly talented all-round player, both at home bowling or lively medium tempo.

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Despite his size, Symonds was a smooth and athletic presence on the ground, with safe bucket-like hands and a laser throw that made him rate one of the game’s best fielders.

But he was most destructive with a bat in his hands.

Symonds – nicknamed “Roy” – played 26 Tests and 198 50-over matches for Australia in an international career spanning more than a decade, from 1998 to 2009.

A key member of Australia’s 2003 and 2007 ODI World Cup winning teams, Symonds took 133 wickets and made 5,088 runs at an average of 39.75 in that format.

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He passed three-digit six times in the 50-over match and fifty on 30 more occasions, with a top score of 156 against New Zealand in 2005.

In tests, mostly beating at number six, he got 1,462 runs with a healthy average of 40.61, with two hundred and 10 fifties.

Symonds was used only as a single bowler in the five-day game and took only 24 wickets.

His best innings of 162 not out came against India in Sydney’s New Year’s Test in 2008 – but it was overshadowed by the “Monkeygate” scandal that broke out later in that match.

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Symonds accused spinner Harbhajan Singh of calling him a “monkey” during a nasty third day.

Singh, who denied any wrongdoing, was suspended for three matches, but the ban was lifted when India threatened to leave the tour, which led to the cricket connection between India and Australia reaching a low point.

– Becoming an adult –

Symonds was born in Birmingham, England, on June 9, 1975, and his parents Ken and Barbara adopted him when he was 15 months old.

They moved to Australia shortly after and settled in the rural town of Charters Towers in northern Queensland.

Loved by teammates, he was called “Leroy” by an academy coach in the early 1990s who thought he looked like Queensland basketball player Leroy Loggins.

It was abbreviated to “Roy” and he was lovingly known by the sobriquet for the rest of his life.

In 1995, he declined a call from his home country to play for England A, and three years later he made his one-day debut for Australia against Pakistan.

It was against the same opponent in the opening match of the World Cup in 2003 that Symonds came of age.

A surprising selection commissioned by Ricky Ponting, Symonds rewarded his captain’s faith with his first international century.

The match-winning 143 was made in Johannesburg against an attack with all-time greats Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi. It cemented Symond’s place in the page.

Symonds liked the simple pleasures of life and being away from the field was never happier than having a beer or a fishing rod in his hand, even though he had problems with alcohol on more than one occasion.

In 2005, he arrived at an ODI against Bangladesh in England still drunk from the night before.

In June 2009, Symonds was sent home from World Twenty20 in England due to “an alcohol-related incident” and was stripped of his Cricket Australia contract.

After stingy in the Indian Premier League with the Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians, Symonds retired in 2011 to become a familiar voice in the comments field.

He also played in the English County Championships for Gloucestershire, Kent and Surrey.

Symonds leaves a wife, Laura, and two young children, Chloe and Billy.

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