The sudden death of Andrew Symonds, along with a host of past and present players, including his Australian teammates and international stars, engenders emotional respect in the cricketing world, expressing grief and disbelief at the tragic news. From former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist and pacer Jason Gillespie to India’s Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar, Queensland has paid tribute to the all-rounder who died in a car crash on Saturday night.
Symonds, popularly known as ‘Roy’, was 46 and left behind his wife and two young children.
“Think of your most loyal, funny, loving friend who can do something for you. That Roy,” Gilchrist, who was part of the 2003 World Cup squad, wrote on his Twitter handle.
“It really hurts.”
Gillespie, who also played with Symonds, tweeted: “Awesome news to wake up. Absolutely devastated. We’ll all miss you mate.”
Michael Bevan, another member of Australia’s 2003 World Cup squad, wrote: “Heartbreaking. Aussie cricket loses another hero. Shocked. Co-team members at the 2003 World Cup. Amazing talent. RIP SIMMO.”
Former Australian pacer Damien Fleming was also devastated by the tragic news.
“It’s very destructive. It was so much fun to be around Roy. It’s so destructive. It was so much fun to surround Roy with our thoughts with the Symonds family #RIPRoy,” Fleming wrote.
Former Australian coach and cricketer Darren Lehmann also took to Twitter to express his condolences.
“Take care of yourself. Great person out there, I love him so much and our thoughts are with the family at this time. Hug your loved one xx #RIPRoy,” Lehmann said.
An attacking batsman who could bowl both medium pace and spin and an outstanding fielder, Symonds played 26 Tests, 198 ODIs and 14 T20Is in a successful career between 1998 and 2009.
He helped Australia win the ODI World Cup in 2003 and 2007 and was a leading member of the Australian Test team in the 2000s.
Indian cricketers including Harbhajan, Tendulkar and VVS Laxman also paid their respects.
“I am shocked to hear of the sudden death of Andrew Symonds. He passed away soon. Heartfelt condolences to family and friends. Prayers for the departed soul,” wrote Harbhajan, who was part of the 2006 Sydney Test.
Expressing his grief, Tendulkar wrote: “The death of Andrew Symonds is tragic news for all of us to exploit. He was not only a brilliant all-rounder, but also a live-on on the field. I have fond memories of our time together. Anyway, at least I didn’t go down without explaining myself first. “
Former India batsman Laxman writes: “The tragic news of waking up in India. My dear friend stay in peace. Such sad news.”
Spin legend Anil Kumble extends his condolences to the family.
“The sad news of the death of Andrew Symonds. Condolences to his family, friends and well-wishers.”
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar wrote: “We are devastated to hear of the death of Andrew Symonds in a car accident in Australia. We have shared a great relationship on and off the field. Thoughts and prayers with the family.”
Afghanistan star spinner Rashid Khan tweeted, “Shocked and shocked to hear of the sudden death of Andrew Symonds. A sports legend, passed away soon. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” Star Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan tweeted.
Cricket Australia has now lost three celebrities in the last two months. Spin legend Shane Warne and former wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh died within hours of each other in March.
Read more: Former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds killed in car crash