In another tragic blow to Australian cricket, former all-rounder Andrew Symonds died in a car accident on Saturday night, aged 46. Symonds was widely regarded as one of the best all-rounders of his time, and during his prime years in international cricket, Symonds was one of the few players who helped revolutionize batting with his incredible power-hitting skills. He represented Australia in 198 ODIs, 26 Tests, and 14 T20Is.
Symonds is the third leading Australia cricketer to have died in 2022; in March, the country had lost two of its gems in Rod Marsh and Shane Warne. Tributes poured in from around the world for Symonds as he left for the heavenly abode and former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh also took to his official Twitter account to bid farewell to the Australia legend.
"Shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Andrew Symonds. Gone too soon. Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. Prayers for the departed soul #RIPSymonds," Harbhajan wrote.
Symonds and Harbhajan had shared a rather controversial history during their playing days. In the 2008 Border-Gavaskar trophy in Australia, the infamous 'Monkeygate' scandal had marred the series where Symonds had accused the Indian cricketer of racism. Symonds had alleged that Harbhajan used the word 'Monkey' during a heated exchange with him during the Sydney Test; however, Harbhajan has maintained that he never used the racial slur.
Both players reconciled when they became teammates in the Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians in 2011. Harbhajan had earlier recalled how he and Symonds patched up with a hug following one of MI's wins in the season in Chandigarh.
"I remembered an incident when we were in Chandigarh. After playing a match that we won, we went to my friend's place. There, we hugged for the first time and apologized to each other. We felt that the issue could have been sorted out in a more amicable manner. Both of us felt sorry. A lot of my friends from Mumbai Indians clicked pictures of that moment," Harbhajan had recalled during a chat on Sportskeeda.