Andrew Symonds: Former Australia cricketer dies aged 46 in car accident - 4 minutes read

Last updated on .From the section Cricket

Former Australia cricketer Andrew Symonds has died aged 46 after being involved in a car crash.

A powerful batter, canny bowler and fine fielder, Symonds was part of two 50-over World Cup wins and Australia's Ashes victory over England in 2006-07.

Queensland police said early information indicated Symonds' car "left the roadway and rolled".

A statement added: "Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant, however, he died of his injuries.

Symonds' wife Laura told the Brisbane Courier Mail: "We are still in shock - I'm just thinking of the two kids."

Cricket Australia said it was "shocked and saddened by the news".

Born in Birmingham but raised in Australia, Symonds played county cricket in the UK for Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire and Surrey.

He also played for Queensland for 17 seasons, and for Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

Symonds' exploits with Gloucestershire, who he had initially represented as a domestic player, earned him a call-up for an England A tour in 1995 - but he declined the offer and chose to pursue his ambitions to play for Australia, making his ODI debut three years later.

He had jointly held the record for most sixes hit in a County Championship innings - he hit 16 in a knock for Gloucestershire against Glamorgan in 1995 - until Ben Stokes bettered his total last week.

His passing is another significant loss for Australian cricket, following the deaths of former wicketkeeper Rod Marsh and legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne earlier this year.

Cricket Australia chair Lachlan Henderson said: "Australian cricket has 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 was a cult figure to many who was treasured by his fans and friends."

CEO Nick Hockley added: "Andrew was a much-loved and admired cricketer in Australia and around the world.

"He was a prodigious talent from an early age in Queensland with his clean ball-striking ability, shrewd spin bowling and brilliant fielding.

"He will be sadly missed by the Australian cricket community and particularly his very close friends at the Queensland Bulls where he was a popular and much-admired team-mate and friend.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this devastatingly sad time."

Symonds, who could bowl off-spin or medium pace, was best known for his exploits in ODI cricket, in which he scored 5,088 runs at an average of 39.75 and also took 133 wickets.

He scored his first of two Test hundreds in the Boxing Day Ashes Test of 2006, hitting 156 as Australia won by an innings and 99 runs in Melbourne.

But his career was not without controversy. In 2009, he was sent home from the World Twenty20 in England for disciplinary reasons, which precipitated the end of his international career.

Earlier, during the 2005 tour of England, he was dropped for two ODIs after turning up drunk to a match against Bangladesh in Cardiff.

In August 2008, he was sent home from Australia's one-day series against Bangladesh in Darwin after missing a compulsory team meeting in order to go fishing.

Tributes to Symonds, who was nicknamed "Roy", have poured in from around the cricketing world, including from former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist and fast bowler Jason Gillespie - team-mates of Symonds at the 2003 World Cup.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan also expressed his sadness at the news.

Ex-India captain Anil Kumble sent his condolences to Symonds' family, adding it was "tragic news", while former Australia seamer Damien Fleming said it was "devastating" .

Other players and teams from around the world also paid tribute, while a minute's silence was held before the start of Sunday's first Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Chittagong and the final day of the County Championship match between Symonds' former teams Kent and Surrey at Beckenham.

David Fulton, who captained Symonds during his spell with Kent, told BBC Sport: "He was a wonderful guy to play with, the kind of guy that you would want to have in the trenches with you.

"He could win a game with bat, ball, in the field, with his sheer physical presence. Off the field he was good fun, good company, just a larger than life guy who never took the game too seriously, whether he was playing in a World Cup final or in the street with his mates he'd approach it in exactly the same way. He'll be incredibly missed."

Source: BBC News

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