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Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds dies in car accident


The larger-than-life Andrew Symonds was extremely popular (File)

Melbourne:

Explosive former Australian versatile player Andrew Symonds has died in a car accident, local reports and teammates said on Sunday, in another tragic blow to the sport following the recent deaths of Shane Warne and Rod Marsh.

The 46-year-old, who played 26 Tests and 198 ODIs, was involved in a single-vehicle accident outside Townsville in Queensland on Saturday night.

Police say emergency services tried to revive the driver and sole occupant, but he succumbed to his injuries after the car left the road and rolled.

Authorities did not name Symonds, but he was widely identified by several media outlets and former players.

“Horrible news to wake up to,” tweeted former Australian teammate Jason Gillespie. “Completely crushed. We’ll all miss you mate.”

Adam Gilchrist, another former teammate and co-commentator, wrote: “It really hurts,” while Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said he was “crushed”.

“We shared a good relationship on and off the field. Thoughts and prayers with the family,” he tweeted.

Symonds’ fatal crash comes just months after the deaths of fellow Australian greats Shane Warne and Rod Marsh, who both died of heart attacks.

The larger-than-life Symonds was extremely popular, not only for his hard-working approach to the game, but also for his comfortable personality.

He was widely regarded as one of the most skilled versatile players Australian cricket has ever seen and was a key member of the team that won 50-over Rugby World Cups in 2003 and 2007.

But he was also remembered for the infamous “monkeygate” scandal in 2008 that landed him in a downward spiral.

Symonds accused Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh of calling himself a “monkey” in the 2008 New Year’s Test in Sydney.

Singh, who denied any wrongdoing, was suspended for three matches but the ban was reversed when India threatened to leave the tour in what was a low point in India-Australia’s cricket relations.

The Australian player later revealed it took a big toll and he started drinking heavily.

His Cricket Australia contract was withdrawn in June 2009 after he was sent home from the World Twenty20 tournament in England to the youngest in a series of alcohol-related indiscretions.

Despite the hostility, Symonds and Harbhajan eventually made up and played together in the Indian Premier League.

(This story was not edited by techlives staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated stream.)

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