The world lost another cricketing great with the untimely demise of former all-rounder Andrew Symonds, who passed away on Saturday night in a car crash. The 46-year-old was a vital cog of the Australian unit, which won back to back World Cups (2003 and 2007) and dominated the sport in both ODIs and Tests during the period.
Symonds was mostly regarded as a white-ball legend but he surely did play some memorable knocks for Australia in the red-ball format. Matthew Hayden, who too was part of the group, shared an interesting moment from Symonds’ career when he was determined to prove himself in the longer format.
Speaking ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) clash between Lucknow Super Giants and Rajasthan Royals, Hayden shared a few memories of him and Symonds from their career.
“My one beautiful memory of Symonds was when he leapt into my arms at the MCG because he always wanted to be known not just as a white ball specialist but as a Test cricketer. To see him score those runs at Boxing Day Test in front of 90,000 people. I’ve still got a crushing injury from when he landed on top of my head with his hands elated in the heaven. His mother, father, brother, sister so proudly recognised on that day what a special human being he was,” said the former Australian opener on Star Sports, the official broadcasting partner of IPL.
Speaking further, Hayden also narrated an interesting episode from the match involving Symonds and former England star Kevin Pietersen.
“He was batting at MCG and Kevin Pietersen was giving him a hard time from cover point. He took about 20 balls to get off strike and Symonds was just gutted because he desperately wanted to play Test cricket.
“Kevin continued after which Symonds said ‘Kevin, just because you have tough stickers on your arm doesn’t mean you’re tough,’” Hayden added.
Symonds had scored 156 in that contest and had stitched a solid 279-run stand for the sixth wicket with Hayden to rescue Australia out from 84/5 to 363/6. Hayden too completed his 150 then as Australia defeated England by an innings and 99 runs.