Andrew Symonds: (1975 – 2022)
A true cricketing all-rounder and an Australian larrikin, Andrew Symonds tantalised and delighted for more than a decade as an international cricketer.
Born in Birmingham, Symonds moved to Australia when he was just three months old. Though eligible to represent England, he only ever wanted to don the Baggy Green; the hard-hitting all-rounder always considering himself an Australian.
‘Roy’ made his First-Class debut for Queensland in 1994/95 and became the state’s youngest First-Class centurion against the touring England side that summer. He followed that with a record-breaking performance for Gloucestershire as a 20-year-old; clubbing 16 sixes in an unbeaten knock of 254. Symonds had, at this early stage, announced himself as a destructive batter and demonstrated a counter-attacking style that – alongside his zinc cream and dreadlocks – would become his trademark.
Symonds made his debut for Australia in 1998, his all-round capability making him a valuable commodity to the One-Day International Side. Though he took some time to blossom, he did so with a commanding 143 against Pakistan in the opening match of the 2003 World Cup. An innings that lifted Australia out of deep trouble, it set them on an unbeaten path to World Cup glory. Symonds would remain a commanding player in the One-Day format, going on to play 198 ODI’s, cracking more than 5,000 runs with six centuries. He was also part of Australia’s 2007 World Cup triumph in the West Indies.
Vale Andrew Symonds. (Image, cricket.com.au, Instagram)
A long-awaited Test debut came in 2004 and though he found himself in and out of the team over the course of his 26 Tests, Symonds willed himself to become a valuable contributor in the Baggy Green. He reached his zenith as a Test cricketer in 2007/08, when – over the course of nine matches – he made 777 runs against Sri Lanka, India and the West Indies. A stunning fielder and handy bowler too, Symonds bowled both medium pace and off-spin as the situation required and managed 24 Test wickets.
An utterly destructive cricketer at his best, Symonds retired from all forms of cricket in 2012 with 14,477 First-Class runs and an imposing 40 centuries. Following his playing days, he became a commentator for Fox Sports alongside many of his former teammates.
An important part in a dominant era of Australian cricket, Symonds was always an entertainer and a fan-favourite and leaves a lasting legacy on the game.