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Beloved former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds was killed in a car accident Saturday, according to authorities. He was 46.
Queensland Police said Symonds was driving a car in Hervey Range, about 30 miles from Townsville, when the vehicle left the roadway and rolled around 11 pm
“Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant, however he died of his injuries,” police said. “The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.”
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Born in Birmingham, England, but raised in Australia, the 6-foot-2 Symonds was known as a big-hitting all-rounder during his time playing the sport.
Symonds played 198 one-day internationals for Australia, winning World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007. He came into his own at the 2003 World Cup when he was far from established on the Australian team.
“Australian cricket has lost another of its very best. Andrew was a generational talent who was instrumental in Australia’s success at World Cups and as part of Queensland’s rich cricket history,” Cricket Australia Chairman Lachlan Henderson said in a statement Sunday. “He was a cult figure to many (and) was treasured by his fans and friends.”
Symonds also played 26 test matches for Australia from 2004 to 2008, with the 2007-2008 season being his most prolific. He also played for Queensland for 17 seasons, as well as the Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, the BBC reported. He also spent time playing county cricket in the United Kingdom.
A big fan of rugby, Symonds famously used a shoulder charge to take on a streaker who invaded the pitch during a one-day international match against India.
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“In the heat of competition there’s a lot of adrenaline, and when someone interrupts the match like it can be frustrating,” he said of the incident years later.
Australia’s National Rugby League planned a moment of silence ahead of a match Sunday between the North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers in Brisbane.
After his cricket playing career, Symonds became a popular commentator.
Former Australian captain Allan Border said Symonds “hit the ball a long way and just wanted to entertain.”
“He was, in a way, a little bit of an old-fashioned cricketer,” Border told the Nine Network. “He was an adventurer, loved his fishing, he loved hiking, camping. People liked his very laid-back style.”
Symonds was able to keep a child-like love of cricket over the years, according to another former captain, Mark Taylor.
“He was an entertainer in an era where professionalism really is a throwaway word that we use probably too often,” Taylor told the outlet. “He wanted to go out there and have fun and play the game he remembered as a kid.
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“At times he got in trouble for not going to training or maybe having a few too many beers, but that is the way he lived his life and the way he wanted to play his cricket also.”
His death was another shocking blow to Australian cricket following the tragic death of legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne in March.
The Associated Press contributed to this report