AUS vs ZIM 2022 – 1st ODI – Roy 388

AUS vs ZIM 2022 - 1st ODI - Roy 388

Andrew Symonds’ children were at the centre of tributes to him during the opening ODI between Australia and Zimbabwe in Townsville.

The outfield was emblazoned with Roy 388 – Symonds’ nickname and Test cap number – in memory of the former allrounder who died in a car accident west of Townsville in May.

Symonds’ children, Billy and Chloe, were part of the pre-match ceremony, standing alongside Aaron Finch and Steven Smith for the anthems where there was a moment’s silence for Symonds. They then helped run the drinks during Australia’s fielding stint, and spent the innings in the team dugout.

At the interval, Symonds’ family members Laura Vidmar, sister Louise and mother Barbara – along with his children and close friend Jimmy Maher – walked to the pitch to lay his baggy green, his bat, his Akubra hat, a fishing rod and a crab pot at the wickets. Symonds’ two dogs, Buzz and Woody, also walked to the centre.

“What he did as a player was remarkable,” Finch said ahead of Australia’s match against Zimbabwe. “He was someone who put bums on seats, he was box office with bat and in the field. [It’s been] a really sad time obviously for Australian cricket over the last little while. It’ll be nice to have some tributes and his family here.

“For someone who was so laidback, his depth of knowledge of cricket and players was second to none. I think the larrikin tag was there, but the deep knowledge of the game was outstanding as well.”

Earlier in the week, Australia coach Andrew McDonald had said Symonds was a cricketer who had changed the game.

“Roy was an amazingly talented, natural cricketer and a brilliant team-mate. He loved playing for his country and his mates,” McDonald told the Australian. “He had a significant impact on the game, particularly here in Queensland as well as across Australia and the world.

“Roy also had a huge influence on inspiring the new generation of cricketers. He changed white-ball cricket just as Dean Jones did in his time. They were two of the true legends of Australian cricket. It is a great tragedy he is gone, but it is fitting we get the opportunity to honour him here in Townsville, and the local fans will be able to pay their respects to a true great.”

It is expected that the grandstand at the Riverway Stadium will be renamed after Symonds in the near future.

Symonds played 26 Tests, 198 ODIs and 14 T20Is for Australia, which included his central role in winning the 2003 World Cup in South Africa and a maiden Test century against England in the 2006-07 Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

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