May 15, 2022 07:00 am
Former Australian cricket star Andrew Symonds has died in a single-vehicle car crash in North Queensland, police say.
The former Test cricket all-rounder was killed in the accident on Saturday night, outside Townsville, where he lived in retirement.
Police said the 46-year-old was driving on Hervey Range Road near Alice River Bridge shortly after 11pm, when his car left the road and rolled.
Emergency service workers attempted to revive him but he died at the scene.
Townsville Acting Inspector Gavin Oates said the cause of the crash was not known.
That's still being investigated at this stage. Forensic Crash Unit officers have attended the scene and are conducting the investigation and they will prepare a report for the coroner," he said.
"The accident was actually heard by neighbours who are people who live nearby that were the first people on scene and alerted emergency services.
"They provided the assistance they could at the time."
Symonds played 26 Tests for Australia and won two Cricket World Cups, and is the father of two children, Chloe and Billy.
"We are still in shock – I’m just thinking of the two kids," Symonds's wife Laura told The Courier-Mail, after flying from Sydney to Townsville on Sunday morning.
"He was such a big person and there is just so much of him in his kids."
Teammates share their grief and pay tribute
Tributes flowed in from the global cricket community throughout the morning, with former teammate and wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist expressing his heartache on Twitter.
"This really hurts," he wrote.
"Think of your most loyal, fun, loving friend who would do anything for you. That’s Roy."
Former Australian Test captain Mark Taylor said it was "another tragic day for cricket", after the recent deaths of Shane Warne, Rod Marsh, and Dean Jones.
"I can't quite believe it. Another tragic day for cricket," he said on Channel Nine.
"Everyone had him earmarked as a white-ball player. He wanted to prove to the world he could play test cricket and he did.
"He was just an entertainer.
"He wanted to go out there and have fun."
Former English test captain Michael Vaughan said: "Simmo … this doesn't feel real."
Former fast bowler and commentator Damien Fleming said: "This is so devastating. Roy was so much fun to be around. Our thoughts are with Symonds family."
Fellow former fast bowler Jason Gillespie wrote: "Horrendous news to wake up to. Utterly devastated. We are all gonna miss you mate."
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley also paid tribute to the 'prodigious talent'.
"Andrew was a much-loved and admired cricketer in Australia and around the world," Hockley said in a press release.
"He was a prodigious talent from an early age in Queensland with his clean ball-striking ability, shrewd spin bowling and brilliant fielding.
"He will be sadly missed by the Australian cricket community and particularly his very close friends at the Queensland Bulls where he was a popular and much-admired team-mate and friend.
"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this devastatingly sad time."
Symonds was highly regarded as an explosive batsman and tricky bowler in the short forms of the game, but also became a Test star, averaging more than 40 with the bat after scoring two centuries.
Known as a larrikin on and off the field, he was a fan favourite and went down in folklore in 2008 after a run in with a streaker at the Gabba.
Symonds had also been on the brink of moving into coaching, with plans to help Warne in The Hundred competition this year, before the legendary spinner's tragic death in March.