New Delhi [India], May 15 (ANI): Former India pacer Madan Lal expressed grief over the sudden demise of former Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds and remembered his infamous 'monkeygate' incident.
According to the police statement, Symonds, aged 46, died in a car accident on Hervey Range Road near the Alice River Bridge in Queensland, Australia on Saturday when his car left the road and rolled.
"I am very sad after hearing the news of Andrew Symonds's death. Symonds was a personality in Australian cricket. Whatever cricket he played he played with a lot of passion. If you remember he had a monkey gate controversy with the Indian team. He was in the news because of that but today since he is not with us is a matter of great regret," Madan Lal told ANI.
The 'monkeygate' incident took place in 2008 during a Test series between India and Australia in Sydney. Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh abused him during the game which Symonds misheard as 'monkey' and took it as a racial comment. The matter was then brought up in front of the umpires and the referee and after a formal meeting of BCCI, Harbhajan was banned for the following Test in Perth. This incident led to a lot of backlash against Symonds and it left him bitter and lonely.
"India have a great relationship with Australia. These incidents happen when you are playing for your country and when you play together then it is different. When Harbhajan and Symonds played together for Mumbai Indians they played for one team and when you play for your team you play to win and as teammates, your bonding develops. In sports such things happen to be it India or Australia they all try to win and in doing so big controversies too happen," said Madan Lal.
This is yet another tragic blow to Australian cricket. Symonds is the third Australian cricket legend to suddenly pass away this year following the tragic deaths of Shane Warne and Rod Marsh in March.
"It is very sad first Rodney Marsh then Shane Warne and now Andrew Symonds. I can only say rest in peace. I am sure Harbhajan Singh must be very sad after listening to his death," said Madan Lal.
Symonds played 26 Tests for Australia and was an integral part of Australia's white-ball sides that dominated the world between 1999 and 2007. (ANI)