Andrew Symonds, the maverick with a particular liking for subcontinental teams and controversies
Former Australian Test cricketer Andrew Symonds (Photo: Twitter/ICC)
This is the second major tragedy in the cricketing world in a little over two months. Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds (Roy or Simo for his teammates and loved ones) lost his life in a car accident at Hervey Range in Queensland on May 14, 71 days after Shane Warne, another Down Under legend, breathed his last. .
A hard-hitting batsman at 6.2 feet tall, Andrew Symonds was also a useful off-spinner and medium-pacer, with an electrifying presence on the field.
With two One Day International World Cup winners’ medals on his chest and multiple records in his sometimes controversial, sometimes topsy-turvy career, his place in the pantheon of cricket’s most entertaining characters was already secure. Games in 2012.
One man’s loss One man’s gain is an old cliché. In Symonds’ case, it was rugby versus cricket.
Two decades ago, the then 27-year-old Symonds was struggling with his cricketing form and was contemplating a move to take up rugby, a sport he was not only deeply interested in, but also good at. That talent will be a sight for cricket fans when he dropped a streaker during the second final of the Commonwealth Series against India at the Brisbane Cricket Ground, popularly known as GABA. It was a tackle that is mostly seen on the rugby field and at WWE shows for spectators.
While his Test career was not very long, lasting almost four years, he represented Australia in ODIs for more than 11 years, the 2003 and 2007 World Cup victories being highlighted.
love for subcontinent teams
His best was always reserved for teams from the subcontinent – India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Just before the 2003 ODI World Cup in South Africa, Shane Warne’s expulsion from the Aussies following a diuretic scandal had taken a toll on the defending champions’ campaign. A few days later in Johannesburg, the Pakistani pace trio of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar made life difficult for them with a scorecard of 86/4 by the 16th over and only Ricky Ponting as the recognized batsman at the crease. .
Andrew Symonds came in and was followed by a brutal display of power hitting and counterattack. First with his captain Ponting and then with the lower order, Symonds made fun of the famous and feared Pakistani bowling line-up.
At the end of the innings, Symonds was still standing with 143 runs from 125 balls and the team was on 310. the target was too high
The rest, as they say, is history. A few weeks later, Australia won their third ODI World Cup, brushing off the Indian challenge with ease.
Symonds’ 151 against Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2006 also ranks as one of his finest moments on the field. As a result, Australia made a comeback in the three-match final and won the third match to win the trophy.
Two years later, Sydney was once again the arena where the muscular man was at his best and this time in a Test match the Indian team was facing fire. Even though the match was marred by a major controversy involving Symonds and Indian official Harbhajan Singh, his unbeaten 162 laid the foundation for a famous victory for his team.
He earned praise for his fielding skills not only from ordinary cricket fans but also from greats like Ricky Ponting and Jonty Rhodes of South Africa.
His acrobatic feats in the 30-yard circle or on the boundary make the opposing batsmen think twice before challenging their strong and precise hand. And if the ball was in the air to Symonds, it was certainly a curtain up for the unlucky batsman.
He was at the center of controversy after allegations of crowding in Vadodara, Nagpur and Mumbai during Australia’s tour of India in 2007 (due in part to his Afro-Caribbean parents), an allegation with the Board of Control for Cricket in India. In India (BCCI) initially denied.
But things came to a head during India’s tour of Australia when the hosts were on the ropes in the Sydney Test in January 2008, with Symonds completing his second Test century. His excellent 162 which saved Australia from a precarious position soon became known as the “Monkeygate”.
Harbhajan Singh was accused of racially abusing Symonds by calling him a monkey and banned for three matches. But the BCCI threatened to recall the team, appealed against the ban on Harbhajan, and eventually the International Cricket Council (ICC) ruled that there was no racial abuse. Instead, Harbhajan was found guilty of using hate speech and docked 50 per cent of his match fee.
However, there was a feeling in Australia that Symonds was made to be seen as a villain and the country’s cricket board did not come out in support of him.
Symonds was dropped from the Australian team several times due to discipline-related issues, including a failure against Bangladesh in Darwin in 2008, the same year in New Zealand following a pub dispute at the 2009 T20I World Cup.
He lost his central contract in 2009 and left it in 2012 after failing to make it to the Australian team for three years.
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