Friday 1 July 2022
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Andrew Symonds: A life of controversies ends

India remembers Andrew Symonds for his altercation with Harbhajan Singh at the Sydney test during India's tour of Australia in 2008

Former Australia cricketer Andrew Symonds died in a car accident on 14 May night. The cricketing world was left in shock by Symonds’ sudden death in a car crash. Symonds was regarded as one of the most powerful batters of his time. Symonds had a cricket career full of controversies, but the biggest of them all was the ‘Monkeygate scandal’ in 2008. In a recent interview, Symonds revealed how his life changed after the Monkeygate incident.

“From that moment on that was my downhill slide. I started to drink heavily as a result of it and my life was starting to dissolve around me felt the pressure and the weight of dragging those mates of mine into the cauldron of this cesspit that should never have got to this sort of point where we felt guilty,” Symonds had told Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

On India’s infamous tour of Australia in 2007-08, Harbhajan was accused of passing a racial slur at Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds. What followed was a difficult time for Harbhajan who had to face a lot of criticism for his behaviour on the field. In a verbal altercation with Harbhajan, Andrew Symonds accused Harbhajan of using a racial slur. Harbhajan has said ‘Teri Maa Ki’ which Symonds heard as ‘Monkey’. ICC banned Indian spinner after the match but the was lifted as Sachin Tendulkar clarified that it was not a racial slur.

“I was dealing with it the wrong way. I felt guilty that I’d dragged my mates into something I didn’t think they deserved to be involved in,” Symonds had said.

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 26 tests from 2004 to 2008. Known for his swashbuckling middle-order batting displays, he was an accomplished all-rounder who could bowl both off-spin and medium pace.

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