New Delhi. Today (June 9, 1975) is the birthday of former Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds. Symonds was recognized as a combative player. Whatever he did on the field, he did it with full dedication. Be it bowling, batting or sledging. He did not lag behind in any matter and his relationship with controversies was always connected. Because of this, the career of this player did not last that long. Symonds is one of the few players who were born in another country and played international cricket for another country.
Symonds was born in 1975 in Birmingham, England. One of his parents was of West Indies and one of European descent. However, he was later adopted by a couple. The family who adopted Symonds took him to Australia. In such a situation, he also had a chance to play for England and West Indies. But Symonds had decided to play for Australia. However, he continued to play Australia’s domestic Sheffield Shield tournament along with county cricket for the first few years.
Symonds hit 20 sixes at the age of 20
At the age of 20, playing for Gloucestershire, he hit 20 sixes in a match against Glamorgan. This is the world record for most sixes in first class cricket with 20 sixes. Then Symonds said that his attention was not towards the record. He just wanted to help his team. His biggest mistake was that even after scoring 24-25 runs in an over, he used to get out for a six off the last ball. That is why his initial coach Tut Brian was also angry with him. But the style of playing of Symonds did not change. In 1995, he became part of the England A team for the tour of Pakistan. However, he did not go on the tour and said that he would play for Australia only. After that he left England.
Symonds was part of the Australian team that won the World Cup
Symonds made his ODI debut for Australia in 1998. However, he kept going in and out of the team. The 2003 ODI World Cup was special for Symonds. He was injured before this tournament. However, after recovering from this injury, he made a comeback and scored an unbeaten 143 runs in 125 balls against Pakistan. After this innings, his ODI career started climbing. Before this match, he had scored 762 runs at an average of 23. But after that his average run-scoring became 43. He was part of the Australian team that won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007.
Symonds scored his first Test century in the Ashes series
This all-rounder made his Test debut for Australia in 2004. But he didn’t have a good start. He was dropped from the team after playing the first few Tests. After two years, he also got a chance in the Test team. This time he didn’t let it go to waste. Scored his first century in the Melbourne Test of the Ashes series. 2007-08 was the most memorable year for him in Tests. He scored 777 runs in 9 Tests against Sri Lanka, India and West Indies. During this, the innings of 162 runs against India in Sydney was the biggest.
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Symonds was deeply involved in controversies
An anecdote about Symonds is very popular that in 2009, he had gone to meet Malcolm Speed, the then Chief Executive of Cricket Australia, to negotiate a contract with scattered hair, bare feet and a cowboy hat. This was not the only such incident. Many a times, due to controversies and indiscipline, action was taken against them. In 2008, the Australian team was about to play a series against Bangladesh. Players were busy in its preparations. But instead of meeting, Symonds was busy fishing. In 2008, the Monkeygate incident took place during the Sydney Test against India. Then Symonds accused Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh of making racial remarks.
Symonds played 26 Tests for Australia
Symonds alleged that he was called a ‘monkey’ by the Indian spinner during an on-field brawl. Harbhajan categorically denied this. However, the Indian spinner was banned. Due to this dispute, there was also a tussle between the cricket board of India and Australia. Later Harbhajan got a clean chit and the tour was over. He scored 1462 runs in 26 Tests for Australia. At the same time, in 198 ODIs, he had 5088 runs at an average of 40. He had his mark in bowling too. He took 24 Tests, 133 ODI wickets.