MELBOURNE (Reuters) -Former Australia all-rounder and two-time World Cup winner Andrew Symonds has died following a car accident in Queensland, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Sunday.
Symonds was aged 46. He had played 238 matches, including 26 tests, for Australia between 1998-2009.
Police said the accident occurred in Hervey Range, 50 km from Townsville on Saturday night. The car Symonds was driving left the road and rolled, according to a police statement, which described it as a single vehicle incident.
Queensland Police said an investigation into the crash has been opened.
“Emergency services attempted to revive the 46-year-old driver and sole occupant, however, he died of his injuries,” the police statement said.
CA chairman Lachlan Henderson said Australian cricket had lost “another of its very best”.
“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 said in a statement.
“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 a member of Australia’s World Cup-winning teams in 2003 and 2007 and appeared in 198 one-day internationals in addition to 14 T20 Internationals.
Known for his swashbuckling batting and electric fielding, he could bowl both off-spin and medium pace.
“Everyone had him earmarked as a white ball player,” former team mate Mark Taylor told Channel Nine.
“He wanted to prove to the world he could play test cricket and he did that way.
“He was just an entertainer. He wanted to go out there and have fun and play the game he remembered to play it as a kid.
“At times he got in trouble for not going to training or maybe having a few too many beers…but that is the way he lived his life and the way he wanted to play his cricket also.”
Symonds’ death occurred with Australian cricket still coming to terms with the passing of all-time greats Rod Marsh and Shane Warne, who both died in March.
Symonds’ career-high test score of 162 not out came against India in a 2008 Sydney match remembered more for a racism controversy around him.
An Anil Kumble-captained India team threatened to abandon the series after bowler Harbhajan Singh was deemed by a match referee to have racially abused Symonds, a ruling that was later overturned.
“Shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Andrew Symonds,” Harbhajan, who later played with Symonds at Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), tweeted.
“Gone too soon. Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. Prayers for the departed soul.”
Kumble also took to Twitter to express his condolence.
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar also mourned the death of his friend.
“Devastated to hear about Andrew Symonds passing away in a car crash in Australia,” Shoaib tweeted.
“We shared a great relationship on & off the field. Thoughts & prayers with the family.”
(Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong and Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Kenneth Maxwell)