Australian cricket ‘cult hero’ Andrew Symonds killed in car crash in Queensland

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Former Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has died in a car crash aged 46, Cricket Australia has announced.

The cricket great was involved in a single-car crash on Saturday night in Hervey Range near Townsville in northeast Australia.

Queensland Police said in a statement: “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.

“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.”

Cricket Australia described Symonds as “a cult hero during the peak of his international playing career and one of the most skilled all-rounders Australian cricket has seen”.

“The Queenslander was a larger-than-life figure who drew a widespread fan base during his peak years for not only his hard-hitting ways but his larrikin persona,” it added.

Symonds played 26 test matches for Australia and posted two centuries, but he was better known as a limited-overs specialist.

He played 198 one-day internationals for Australia and won two World Cups.

After retiring as a player, Symonds became a commentator for cricket broadcasters.

Australia's Andrew Symonds cuts the ball during their second cricket test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney on Jan. 2, 2008. Symonds has died, Saturday, May 14, 2022, after a single-vehicle auto accident near Townsville in northeast Australia. He was 46. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
‘The Queenslander was a larger-than-life figure’, says Cricket Australia. Pic: AP

Symonds becomes the third Australian cricket legend to pass away this year, following Rod Marsh and Shane Warne, who both suffered suspected heart attacks.

Former teammates and opponents including Adam Gilchrist and Michael Vaughan paid tribute to Symonds, affectionately known as “Roy”.

Former wicketkeeper Gilchrist tweeted crying and heartbreak emojis followed by the simple message: “This really hurts. #roy #rip”

Ex-England captain Vaughan wrote: “Simmo .. This doesn’t feel real .. #RIP”.

The South Australian Cricket Association said its thoughts are with Symonds friends and family.

“How often you made us smile, Roy. You will be deeply missed,” the organisation added.

“Countless memories of astonishing skill. Roy could do it all.”

Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting wrote: “If Roy shook your hand you had his word, that’s the sort of bloke he was and that’s why I always wanted him on my team.

“An extraordinary player and even better human being. Can’t believe he’s gone.

“Thoughts are with his family at this time.”

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