The cricketing world has reacted in shock at the death of charismatic former Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds, who was the sole passenger in the car crash just outside of Townsville in his home state of Queensland.
A host of former Australian team-mates and international cricketers took to social media to share their sympathies surrounding the loss of the 46-year-old Symonds.
Former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist and fast bowler Jason Gillespie — who both played alongside Symonds at the 2003 World Cup — expressed their shock at the news.
“Think of your most loyal, fun, loving friend who would do anything for you. That’s Roy. (Broken heart symbol). This really hurts. #roy #rip,” wrote Gilchrist.
Former Australian fast bowler Gillespie said he was devastated by the news.
“Horrendous news to wake up to. Utterly devastated. We are all gonna miss you mate. #RIPRoy,” tweeted Gillespie.
Another Australian pace bowler, Damien Fleming tweeted, “This is so devastating. Roy was so much fun to be around. Our thoughts are with Symonds family. #RIPRoy.”
In Symonds’ death one is reminded of the tribute paid by the late Australian legend Richie Benaud when he was mesmerised at the site of watching a run out effected by the all-rounder in 2001.
“Twisting and turning and diving, and then swivelling without actually getting up on to his feet, and he still hit the stumps and ran the batsman out,” Benaud had said.
Former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes, who the cricketing world considers as the greatest fielder of all time, had paid the best tribute to Symonds’ fielding skills in 2006, saying that the Australian was “10 times” better, according to cricket.com.au.
“Where he’s better than me is that he’s a true all-round fieldsman,” Rhodes had said in 2006. “For a big guy, he moves well close to the wicket, getting down to the ground, diving, cutting off balls if he’s in the ring. He’s quick and can cut off boundaries. But the extra dimension is his strength. From the middle of the innings, he can be out on the fence saving twos because he has such a strong arm.”
Paying its tribute to Symonds, Cricket Australia (CA) wrote on its website, “Vale Andrew Symonds. We are shocked and saddened by the loss of the loveable Queenslander, who has tragically passed away at the age of 46.”
Cricketer, both present and former, from the sub-continent too woke up in shock on hearing the news of Symonds’ death.
“Devastated to hear about Andrew Symonds passing away in a car crash in Australia. We shared a great relationship on and off the field. Thoughts and prayers with the family. #AndrewSymonds,” tweeted former Pakistan pace bolwer Shoaib Akhtar, while former Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews tweeted an image of the cricketer in dreadlocks playing a shot, and wrote, “Woke up to this shocking news! RIP legend! Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.”
Former India batter VVS Laxman wrote, “Shocking news to wake up to here in India. Rest in peace my dear friend. Such tragic news,” while ex-India leg-spinner Anil Kumble tweeted, “Tragic news to hear of Andrew Symonds passing. Condolences to his family, friends and well wishers.”
Press Release, Source: IANS