Adam Gilchrist at Andrew Symonds’s public memorial: He was loyal beyond belief and just good fun

Former Australia great Adam Gilchrist paid tribute to his teammate all-rounder Andrew Symonds at a public memorial in the north Queensland city of Townsville on Friday.

Symonds tragically died in a single-vehicle road accident on May 14. He was 46. Paramedics tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The first thing I think of is his commitment to the team, to friendship, to mateship, loyal almost to a fault, his mischievous character,” former Australia captain Gilchrist was quoted as saying. “(He was) loyal beyond belief and just good fun.”

The public memorial took place at the Riverway Stadium, where hundreds gathered to bid farewell to Symonds, who was fondly called ‘Roy’.

Symonds, who made his debut in 1998, represented Australia in 198 ODIs, 26 Tests and 14 T20Is till 2009. He scored 6887 and took 165 wickets across all formats.

He featured in the Indian Premier League, playing for the Deccan Chargers (2008-10) and Mumbai Indians (2011). Symonds played for Queensland (1993-94, 2009-10) in Australian domestic cricket and also represented England counties Gloucestershire (1995-96), Kent (1999-2004), Lancashire (2005) and Surrey (2010).

His former teammate Matthew Mott, who was recently appointed as England’s white-ball coach, said, “He wasn’t a perfect person and he never pretended to be.”

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, Glenn McGrath and Mitchell Johnson were among the guests present at a separate private funeral, Australian media reported.

Symonds’ demise came with the Australian cricketing fraternity still coming to terms with the passing of legendary spinner Shane Warne and former wicket-keeper great Rod Marsh, who both passed away in March this year.

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