Australian cricket misplaced one in every of its most lovely and gifted stars when Andrew Symonds died in a automobile accident on Saturday night time, robbing the sport and the nation of a person who was a lightning rod for the spectacular and the controversial throughout his 26-Take a look at profession.
From the second he debuted on the world stage in 1995, the hard-hitting all-rounder stamped himself because the type of cricketer you possibly can by no means take your eyes off. At any second he might hit a monster six, take a pivotal wicket – or, in a single well-known incident, deck a streaker with a shoulder cost a footy participant can be pleased with.
As followers mourn his tragic passing, one picture that’s certain to crop up time and time once more is the dreadlocked star leaping into teammate Matthew Hayden’s arms after scoring his first Take a look at century through the 2006 Ashes Boxing Day match on the MCG.
The innings that stopped a nation: Symonds celebrates along with his mate Matthew Hayden as he scores his first Take a look at century in a knock that saved the 2006 Boxing Day match for Australia
The all-rounder had been underneath strain to maintain his spot within the facet coming in to the Take a look at and responded in usually aggressive trend, smashing a six down the bottom to carry up his ton
Symonds was underneath strain to maintain his place within the facet after getting out cheaply in his earlier Take a look at, and the Aussies had been in dire straits as he strode to the crease with the rating at 5/84.
What adopted was probably his most interesting second within the dishevelled inexperienced as smashed the English assault and introduced up his first Take a look at hundred in typical type, hammering a six straight again over the bowler’s head earlier than elevating his arms in triumph and celebrating wildly along with his nice mate Hayden.
His knock of 156 was an enormous turning level and Australia smashed the previous enemy to the tune of an innings and 96 runs.
Symonds wasn’t an immediate hit when he first made the nation’s one-day group in 1998, struggling to nail down a spot in an extremely gifted facet – however that each one modified on the 2003 World Cup.
Australia was struggling within the facet’s first recreation of the match, down 4 wickets for simply 86 runs in opposition to Pakistan, and in determined want of a saviour.
Symonds was simply that, turning the sport and his profession round with an unbeaten knock of 143 from simply 125 balls as Australia gained that match and each recreation after it to be topped world champions.
‘Roy’ – seen right here with Michael Clarke after Australia gained the 2007 World Cup – was instrumental within the facet’s 2003 triumph within the match, smashing a stellar 143 to dig the facet out of an enormous gap in opposition to Pakistan
The match reworked Symonds from a bit participant for Australia right into a mainstay of the group.
From 2007 to 2008 he smashed 777 runs in simply 9 Checks, recording his highest profession rating of 162 in a sensational innings in opposition to India on the SCG.
However that conflict additionally featured one of the controversial episodes of Symonds’ time on the pitch.
The Aussie accused Harbhajan Singh of calling him a ‘monkey’ through the Take a look at, which noticed the Indian spinner hit with a racial vilification cost.
In what grew to become generally known as ‘Monkeygate’, the Indian group threatened to give up the tour altogether when Singh was suspended for 3 matches, earlier than the ban was overturned by the Worldwide Cricket Council.
Symonds was furious with the dealing with of the incident and accused Cricket Australia of failing to again its gamers. He additionally mentioned Singh had known as him a monkey on a number of events earlier than the match on the SCG and broke down in tears as he apologised to him for the slur – which the Indian star angrily denied.
The ‘Monkeygate’ scandal of 2008 – when Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh (pictured) used a racial slur in opposition to Symonds – was a hammer blow to the late legend, who was livid with Cricket Australia for not backing him
The scandal left an enormous mark on Symonds, who revealed in 2018 that it noticed him flip to alcohol as a approach of coping.
‘I began to drink closely on account of it and my life was beginning to dissolve round me. I felt responsible that I’d dragged my mates into one thing I didn’t assume they deserved to be concerned in,’ he mentioned.
The all-rounder generated world headlines of a distinct kind when he decked a streaker with a shoulder cost throughout a one-dayer in Brisbane in March 2008.
Symonds as soon as thought of a change to rugby league and proved he wouldn’t be misplaced within the sport by smashing the pitch invader into subsequent week.
‘It was frustration greater than something,’ he advised Each day Mail Australia earlier this month.
‘I wasn’t attempting to harm him, nevertheless it was a ultimate and a decent a part of the sport. I’d simply run Matty Hayden out and we’d simply began getting again on monitor, however we had been nonetheless underneath the pump.
‘He was an Aussie and he ran out and I’m considering, “Mate, are you watching the sport? You didn’t should run out now; you possibly can have saved it for later or finished it after they had been batting.”‘
hit a streaker for six: Symonds made headlines world wide when he shoulder charged a streaker into subsequent week throughout a one-dayer in Brisbane in 2008
Earlier this month, in one in every of his ultimate interviews, Symonds advised Each day Mail Australia he wasn’t attempting to harm the pitch invader – however he positively didn’t miss him, both
Later that 12 months Symonds failed to show up for a group assembly as a result of he determined to go fishing as a substitute. It led to a falling out with former mate Michael Clarke, which the pair by no means patched up.
He felt Clarke had betrayed him and to make issues worse, the pair had already had a foul run-in throughout a tour of the West Indies.
‘I threw a drink on him. He didn’t inform me to go to mattress, he mentioned one thing else however I threw a drink on him and what he mentioned to me put me right into a rage,’ Symonds mentioned.
‘Our friendship was destroyed in that second.
‘He’d mentioned to me, not in these phrases, however he’d steered I used to be a egocentric participant and a egocentric particular person. The one factor I don’t take into account myself to be is that and that basically aggravated me.’
The pair traded barbs after they had been each completed with their on-field careers.
Michael Clarke (left) and Symonds each made their Take a look at debuts in 2004 and have become mates – however that each one got here to an finish when the big-hitting star determined to go fishing as a substitute of rocking as much as a group assembly in 2008
When Each day Mail Australia columunist Mike Colman requested Symonds how he felt the Channel 9 cricket protection would go for the 2016 season he replied, ‘Effectively they’ve simply employed Michael Clarke and Kevin Pietersen – the 2 most unpopular individuals in world cricket – so not too good I’d say.’
Former Take a look at captain Mark Taylor summed Symonds up effectively shortly after studying of his dying, saying: ‘He needed to go on the market and have enjoyable and play the sport he remembered to play it as a child. At occasions he acquired in bother for not going to coaching or perhaps having a number of too many beers however that’s the approach he lived his life and the way in which he needed to play his cricket additionally.’
Certain, that love of a beer acquired him into bother at occasions – most notably when skipper Ricky Ponting blew up as a result of Symonds got here to coaching badly underneath the climate in 2005… and advised coach John Buchanan he’d performed in an identical state earlier than.
However what number of cricketers would’ve had the expertise to play in that state with out being pulled up instantly as a result of they crashed and burned on the pitch? In all probability only a handful, and Roy was positively amongst them.