As Channel Nine’s resident cricket legend Mark Taylor is likely one of the first individuals the community calls when a giant information story occurs within the sport.
That meant fronting up for TV appearances when Rod Marsh and Shane Warne died in fast succession in March after which once more on Sunday morning, simply over two months later, when information of Andrew Symonds’ demise first broke.
Taylor was notably near Warne, having shared the dressing room of Australian sides with the legendary leg-spinner for near a decade, so reflecting on his demise so shortly after it occurred in such shock circumstances was notably robust.
READ MORE: Cricket legend Andrew Symonds lifeless at 46
However, he was struck by disbelief on Sunday morning when requested for his response to Symonds’ demise by Charles Croucher on Nine’s Weekend Today.
“Unfortunately I’ve been here too often this year under these circumstances. I actually can’t quite believe it, to be honest. Another tragic day for cricket,” Taylor stated.
With that reflection apart Taylor made a rare fist of summing up what Symonds meant to the Australian public, as one in every of our most entertaining cricketers, and in some ways a throwback to the ’70s together with his larrikin persona.
Former Australian Test cricketer Andrew Symonds has died aged 46
“He was an entertainer with the bat, and he was an imposing guy, he was a big lad. I believe a very good rugby league player as a young kid as well,” Taylor stated.
“He just wanted to entertain. In a way he was a bit of an old-fashioned cricketer, would not have been out of place playing in the ’70s or ’80s.”
Describing one in every of his most useful contributions to the Australian aspect, Taylor stated Symonds’ century towards Pakistan on the 2003 World Cup was a key one as a result of he stood up when his nation actually wanted him.
In that match Symonds got here to the crease with Australia in hassle at 4/86, with Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn and Jimmy Maher already again within the sheds.
Captain Ricky Ponting would fall for 53 quickly after, leaving Symonds to counter a fierce bowling assault that included Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar.
He did so in outstanding trend, smacking an unbeaten 143 off simply 125 deliveries to information Australia to a complete of 8/310. That arrange a complete win on the way in which to World Cup glory.
Symonds reveals off masterful catching means
Taylor described Symonds’ debut Test century towards England on the MCG throughout the 2006-07 Ashes collection as “probably his defining moment”.
Symonds was on the crease together with his nice mate Matthew Hayden when he celebrated the milestone, squeezing the imposing opening batsman so tightly in a hug his helmet nearly got here off. In typical Symonds model, he introduced up his century with a six.
“That hundred he got at the MCG was probably his defining moment, because he was out there with his mate, Matty Hayden,” Taylor stated.
“That was a great moment because that passion was there. He wasn’t really considered a Test cricketer, everyone had him earmarked as a white-ball player, but he wanted to prove to the world he was a Test cricketer, and he did that day.”
While he did the whole lot at 100 miles an hour on the sector, Symonds was a solitary determine off it who loved life most when he was away from civilisation, out within the bush.
Symonds’ well-known 2008 streaker incident
“He was an adventurer. He loved fishing, loved hiking, loved camping. Him and Matthew Hayden were good mates, they loved to fish together. They would go away to Stradbroke Island… and fish together, camp together,” Taylor stated. “I took Simmo out fishing one day here on Sydney Harbour. Just watching him throw a flyer lure around boats was great to watch.”
“Simmo away from cricket and away from the cameras, I think he loved his solitude, and that’s why he loved his fishing. He loved his own time.”
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