Andrew Symonds played 26 Tests, 198 ODIs and 14 T20Is for Australia © Getty Images
Andrew Symonds was born on June 9, 1975. Nishad Pai Vaidya lists 10 things one needs to know about the former Australian all-rounder.
Andrew Symonds was a cricketing enigma in his early years. Once he established himself in the Australian team in the early 2000s, he was one of the most feared hitters in world cricket. On his day, he could be the difference between the two sides. He also had the ability to take important wickets with his medium-pacers and off-spinners. However, Symonds’s international career saw an abrupt end with some of his discipline-related issues.
Here are 10 things you need to know about Symonds:
1. Andrew Symonds is partly of West Indian descent and was adopted at a very young age by English schoolteachers. They then moved to Australia.
2. Symonds played for Australia Under-19 alongside future teammates such as Brett Lee and Michael Hussey. Guess who they came up against then? VVS Laxman, the man who was to torment them in their senior careers.
3. Symonds got his nickname “Roy” due to his resemblance to a National Basketball League (NBL) player called Leroy Loggins.
4. Though Symonds had played his age group cricket in Australia, England wanted to pick him as he turned up for Gloucestershire. Symonds was born in Birmingham which made him eligible for the England cap.
5. In 1995, Symonds made headlines when he smashed a remarkable 16 sixes in his innings of 254 not out for Gloucestershire against Glamorgan. That became a First-Class record and it was only equalled in 2011 by Jesse Ryder and Graham Napier.
6. Symonds had a good season at Gloucestershire in 1995 and England selected him for their ‘A’ Team’s tour to Pakistan. However, Symonds turned it down by saying that if he committed himself to England, he would have had to leave behind his family in Australia. He was awarded the Young Player of the Year by the England Cricketer’s Association.
7. Though Symonds made his One-Day International (ODI) debut in November 1998, he only established himself during the ICC World Cup 2003. Symonds responded to the faith of the team management by smashing an unbeaten 143 against Pakistan in their first game. In that game, Australia were struggling at 86 for four when Symonds came out to bat. He then smashed the ball to all parts of the ground to take Australia to 310. Pakistan’s attack featured Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar.
8. In 2004, Australia searched for a replacement once Steve Waugh retired. Symonds was brought into the Test side during the tour to Sri Lanka that year. However, he could not establish himself after two Tests and only played the format again against West Indies in November 2005.
9. Symonds took the catch of Hashan Tillakaratne on the 2004 tour to Sri Lanka to give Shane Warne his 500th Test victim.
10. Though the shadow of the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal loomed large, Symonds was picked up by the Deccan Chargers at the first Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in 2008 for USD 1.35 million. Only Indian captain MS Dhoni attracted a higher bid in that auction. Symonds smashed a ton against Rajasthan Royals that year.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)