Australian cricket great Andrew Symonds has died following a single-car accident outside Townsville on Saturday night.
Symonds, who was a cult hero during the peak of his international playing career and one of the most skilled allrounders Australian cricket has seen, was just 46.
A police statement said they were investigating a fatal single-vehicle crash in Hervey Range, some 50 kilometres from Townsville, where Symonds lived.
“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.
“The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.”
According to a News Corp report, Symonds’ family issued a statement “confirming his passing, and appreciated peoples’ sympathy and best wishes, and asked that their privacy be respected”.
Symonds played 198 ODIs for Australia and was a key member of the team that won back-to-back World Cups without dropping a match in 2003 and 2007.
It was the 2003 World Cup for which he will likely be most remembered, when he finally broke through on the international stage with a spectacular match-winning hundred against Pakistan.
The explosive right-hander also played 26 Tests, scoring hundreds against England and India, while he was also a valuable option with the ball, either with his off-breaks or medium pacers.
In the field, he was one of the greatest the game has seen, forming one of cricket’s most spectacular fielding units alongside Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke.
The Queenslander, nicknamed ‘Roy’, was a larger-than-life figure who drew a widespread fanbase during his peak years for not only his hard-hitting ways but his larrikin persona as well as his famed dreadlocks and zinced-up lips, which endeared him to the masses but occasionally landed him on the wrong side of the game’s powerbrokers.
In retirement, Symonds had been working with Fox Sports as a commentator, where his dry wit and candid offerings had provided a unique voice.
“He hit the ball a long way and just wanted to entertain. He was, in a way, a little bit of an old-fashioned cricketer,” former Test captain and Fox Sports colleague Allan Border told the Nine Network.
“He was an adventurer. Loved his fishing, he loved hiking, camping.
“People liked his very laid-back style.
“He lived in Townsville. When I spoke to him, I think he still had a hundred head of cattle he used to muster.
“Symo away from the cameras and away from the spotlight, loved, I think, a bit of solitude and that is why he loved his fishing. Loved his own time.”
Symonds is the second Australia player of his era to have lost his life in recent times, following the shock death of his former teammate Shane Warne, while legendary wicketkeeper and coach Rod Marsh also passed away in March.
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