Cricket: Tributes flow after shock death of former Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds

Andrew Symonds celebrates during the 2006/07 Ashes.
Andrew Symonds celebrates during the 2006/07 Ashes. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

Tributes have flown for former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds, after his tragic death in a car accident on Saturday night (NZ time).

Affectionately dubbed 'Roy', Symonds was a linchpin of a dominant Australian white ball side, playing in 198 one day internationals, and winning the 2003 and 2007 Cricket World Cups.

In Twenty20 cricket, Symonds played 14 matches for Australia at international level, averaging over 48 with the bat, and became one of the game's first Indian Premier League (IPL) millionaires, netting over NZ $2m when he was sold to Deccan Chargers in the inaugural player auction in 2008.

Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist lift the Cricket World Cup (2003).
Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist lift the Cricket World Cup (2003). Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

Symonds won the IPL with Deccan in 2009 and theTwenty20 Champions League with Mumbai Indians in 2011.

In test cricket, Symonds played just 26 matches for Australia, scoring two centuries with a batting average of more than 40 - and was involved in the 2006/07 Ashes whitewash against England.

After the end of his international career in 2009, Symonds plied his trade as a T20 freelancer, before various commentary stints around the world.

News of the all-rounder's death was a shock to the game in Australia, still reeling from the passing of icons Shane Warne and Rod Marsh just a few months ago, both due to heart attacks.

"Horrendous news to wake up to," former teammate Jason Gillespie wrote on Twitter. "Utterly devastated. We are all gonna miss you mate."

"This doesn't feel real," said former England captain Michael Vaughan.

"'Roy' was one of the main reasons I wanted to play cricket, wear zinc & just generally play sport with a smile," wrote player-commentator Trent Copeland.

"Devastated to hear about Andrew Symonds passing away in a car crash in Australia," former opponent Shoaib Akhtar posted. "We shared a great relationship on & off the field. Thoughts & prayers with the family."

"Australian cricket has lost another of its very best," Cricket Australia chairman Lachlan Henderson said. 

"Andrew was a generational talent who was instrumental in Australia's success at World Cups and as part of Queensland's rich cricket history.

"He was a cult figure to many who was treasured by his fans and friends. On behalf of Australian cricket our deepest sympathies are with Andrew's family, team-mates, and friends."

Symonds was 46.