Tributes continue to pour in for Andrew Symonds, with a ‘Fishing Rods for Roy’ campaign launched to honor the former Australian Test star. Cricket fans have been encouraged to leave fishing rods and cricket balls outside their homes as part of a national tribute to the 46-year-old.
Symonds died on Saturday evening when his car left the road and rolled in Hervey Range, about 50 km from Townsville.
His love of fishing was part of folklore and he was fired from an ODI series against Bangladesh in 2008 after missing a team meeting in Darwin to get in the water.
Symonds had even been prepared to take a 20 per cent pay cut from his contract with Cricket Australia if it meant he would have more time off to go fishing.
New details emerged on Sunday about the crash that claimed his life. Waylon Townson attempted to save Symonds after hearing the crash and rushed to the scene.
“He was stuck in there, so I tried to get him out,” Townson told the Nine Network. “[I] started doing CPR and checked her pulse, but didn’t get much response.
Emergency services also attempted to revive Symonds, the sole occupant of the car, but he died of his injuries, police said in a statement on Sunday.
It is unclear why Symonds’ four-wheel drive vehicle veered off the road before rolling down an embankment. He was traveling with his two dogs and they apparently did not want to leave him after the accident.
Former teammates and rivals paid tribute to Symonds once news of his death broke.
Adam Gilchrist held back tears while speaking Monday morning on his SEN radio show. Justin Langer, who played alongside Symonds on the Test team, joined Gilchrist and former manager Darren Lehmann to reminisce about their good friend.
Lehmann said he struggled to deal with the loss of Shane Warne, Rod Marsh and Symonds in such a short time.
“It was a tough time,” Lehmann said. “He [Symonds] was one of the first guys I coached. Losing a larger-than-life character is bad enough for everyone, no more so than their family.
“He was a gaming legend, we loved him very much, he lit up the room and loved life to the fullest.”
A swashbuckling swashbuckler and brilliant defender, Symonds made 238 international appearances, including 26 Tests, for Australia between 1998 and 2009.
His death sparked tributes from across the cricketing world, with former players remembering him as a rare talent and a maverick known for clashing with team management over matters of discipline.
“Roy [Symonds] was never perfect, that’s for sure, and he never admitted he was,” former Australian coach John Buchanan told ABC radio on Monday.
“But the one thing about Roy – and one of the things that I think endeared him to most people – is that even if he made a mistake, he would openly admit it. and would try to rectify this and take full responsibility.”