Andrew Symonds: great versatile Australian loved by his teammates | Cricket News


SYDNEY: Andrew Symonds, who died in a car crash on Saturday night aged 46, was instantly recognizable on the cricket pitch with a mop of dreadlocks sticking out of his green cap and lips glistening with white zinc cream.
A towering presence at 6ft 2in (1.87m) with a smile as wide as his shoulders, he was an extremely talented all-rounder, equally at home, bowling or at a lively medium pace.

Despite his height, Symonds was an agile and athletic presence on the pitch, with sure, bucket-shaped hands and a laser-like throw that ranked him among the game’s greatest defenders.
But he was the most destructive with a bat in his hands.
Symonds – nicknamed ‘Roy’ – played 26 Tests and 198 games over 50 for Australia during an international career spanning more than a decade, from 1998 to 2009.
A vital member of Australia’s 2003 and 2007 ODI World Cup-winning squads, Symonds took 133 wickets and scored 5,088 runs at an average of 39.75 in that format.
He topped triple figures on six occasions in the 50-plus game and fifty on 30 other occasions, with a best of 156 against New Zealand in 2005.

In Tests, mostly at bat at number six, he scored 1,462 runs at a healthy average of 40.61, with two hundred and 10 fifty.
Symonds was only used as an occasional bowler in the five-day game, taking just 24 wickets.
His best unfinished innings of 162 were against India in the Sydney New Year’s Test in 2008 – but that was overshadowed by the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal that broke later in that game.
Symonds accused spinner Harbhajan Singh of calling him a ‘monkey’ on a moody third day.
Singh, who has denied any wrongdoing, was suspended for three matches but the ban was overturned when India threatened to quit the tour, sending India-Australia cricket relations to rock bottom.
Symonds was born in Birmingham, England on June 9, 1975, his parents Ken and Barbara adopted him when he was 15 months old.
They moved to Australia soon after, settling in the rural town of Charters Towers in northern Queensland.
Beloved by his teammates, he was nicknamed “Leroy” by an academy coach in the early 1990s who thought he looked like Queensland basketball player Leroy Loggins.
He was shortened to “Roy” and he was affectionately known by the moniker for the rest of his life.
In 1995 he turned down a call-up from his native country to play for England A, and three years later made his one-day international debut for Australia against Pakistan.
It was against the same opponents in the opening game of the 2003 World Cup that Symonds came of age.
Surprise selection at the request of Ricky Ponting, Symonds rewarded his captain’s faith with his first international centenary.
The match-winning 143 was achieved in Johannesburg against an attack featuring all-time greats Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi. This cemented Symonds’ place in the side.
Symonds loved the simple pleasures in life and away from the pitch was never happier than with a beer or a fishing rod in hand, although he had trouble with alcohol on more than one occasion.
In 2005, he arrived for an ODI against Bangladesh in England still drunk from the day before.
In June 2009, Symonds was sacked from the World Twenty20 in England due to “an alcohol-related incident” and he was stripped of his contract with Cricket Australia.
After stints in the Indian Premier League with the Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians, Symonds retired in 2011 to become a familiar voice in the commentary box.
He also played in the English County Championship for Gloucestershire, Kent and Surrey.
Symonds leaves behind a wife, Laura, and two young children, Chloe and Billy.

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