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“Simply stunned”: Gilchrist and cricketing world pay tribute to late Symonds


The cricketing world is in mourning again after the shock passing of former Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds, aged 46.

Symonds passed away in a car accident on Saturday outside of Townsville, with his family confirming the news on Sunday.

One of those closest to Symonds throughout his 26 Test and 198 ODI playing career was Adam Gilchrist, with the pair achieving the ultimate success together in red and white-ball cricket as part of Ricky Ponting’s dominant Australian side.

Speaking to SEN in the wake of the tragic news, Gilchrist paid tribute to one of his favourite teammates and closest friends.

“Simply stunned, I can’t believe we’re in this space again the cricketing world,” Gilchrist told SEN.

“Anyone that had anything to do with ‘Symo’ knew exactly what he was like, he was one of the good guys, a real heart and soul type of guy that really made you happy – he just lit up the room wherever he was.

“He is just going to be so sorely missed.”

Throughout his playing career, Symonds earned a reputation as a colourful character, and Gilchrist offered a glimpse into the lovable larrikin’s personality.

“I wouldn’t say so much a practical joker, but he just seemed to find a funny line or a funny comment at any given time,” Gilchrist said.

“He was a true work hard and play hard (person), I think we all saw that.

“There was almost a beautiful naivety to a lot of things and innocence.

“He was so knowledgeable in the game of cricket, a whole lot more knowledgeable and articulate than what people might give him credit for.

“That was starting to shine through in his commentary, his ability to read the game and to know what was going to happen … it was amazing, it was an asset and a skill that Ricky Ponting as captain drew on a lot more than people know.”

On-field, Symonds will be remembered for his powerful hitting, crafty bowling and elite fielding and Gilchrist recalled his fondest memory of the Queenslander in Australian colours.

“So many times he did save us, particularly when he was batting at five or six in One Day cricket,” Gilchrist said.

“It’s a bit of a rebuild type position, and the one that jumps straight to mind is the innings against Pakistan at Johannesburg in the opening match of the 2003 World Cup.

“We found ourselves in trouble, ‘Roy’ went in at 4/80 or something and pulled off one of the great hundreds, that was the launch of an undefeated run at a World Cup.

“Without Roy’s innings in that game who knows what happens, he set the tone.

“That’s probably the innings that really springs to mind for me.”

For those that weren’t lucky enough to know Symonds personally, Gilchrist described the fan favourite as a person who would “do anything” for his close friends.

“I just can’t fathom it, it’s still a bit numb really to believe, the reality of this situation,” Gilchrist said.

“He was a larrikin, he found the lighter side of most situations.

“Anyone that didn’t know him, just think of your closest friend who would do anything for you.

“He was loyal to a fault and just so trustworthy and loving.”

Listen to Gilchrist, Robert Craddock and Ian Smith among others sharing their fondest memories of Symonds below.

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