MELBOURNE: Former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds has died following a car accident in Queensland, Cricket Australia confirmed on Sunday.
Symonds was aged 46. He had played 26 Test matches for Australia. Police said the accident occurred in Hervey Range, 50 km from Townsville on Saturday night.
The car Symonds was driving left the road and rolled, according to a police statement, which described it as a single vehicle incident. “Australian cricket has lost another of its very best,” said Cricket Australia chairman Lachlan Henderson in a statement.
“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. On behalf of Australian cricket our deepest sympathies are with Andrew’s family, teammates, 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 26 tests from 2004 to 2008.
Known for his swashbuckling middle-order batting displays, he was an accomplished all-rounder who could bowl both off-spin and medium pace.
“Everyone had him earmarked as a white ball player,” former team mate Mark Taylor told Australian media. “He wanted to prove to the world he could play test cricket and he did that way. 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.”
Symonds’ 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.
Queensland Police said an investigation into the crash has been opened. “Early information indicates, shortly after 11 p.m. the car was being driven on Hervey Range Road, near Alice River Bridge when it left the roadway and rolled,” the police statement said.
“Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant, however, he died of his injuries”.