Former Australian captain Michael Clarke reveals his devastation at Andrew Symonds’ death
Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has opened up on the “amazing connection” he once shared with Andrew Symonds in the wake of his old teammate’s death.
Reflections on shared adventures have become far too common for the likes of Clarke and other ex-Australia players in recent times and the death of Symonds, on the back of Shane Warne, Rod Marsh, and even Phil Hughes, has left much of the cricket fraternity devastated.
Clarke said as much in a one-word social media post when news of Symonds’ car accident in Queensland was first reported.
And on Tuesday morning Clarke revealed trying to cope with another loss was one of the reasons he didn’t turn up for his radio show on Monday before offering an emotional outpouring to relate how significant his bond with Symonds was.
“I don’t know what’s going on in cricket at the moment, it’s just devastating. Been a horrible few months,” Clarke said.
“These are the times you grab your family, your friends and cherish every day, I guess.”
Clarke and Symonds played Test matches, one-day cricket and T20s together, including Australia’s 2007 World Cup win. They travelled the world, with Symonds seeking experiences and Clarke went along for the ride.
And while the pair famously fell out in retirement, there was no hiding the affection the former skipper had for a teammate who “made me feel comfortable” in the most uncomfortable of situations.
That included a two-week road trip in a Winnebago when the pair travelled from Sydney to Brisbane and then further north into Symonds’ element.
“We were so opposite in so many ways. The laughing joke in our team was complete city boy me, complete country boy him, yet we built an amazing connection,” Clarke told the Big Sports Breakfast.
“We did things I thought I’d never experience and wasn’t comfortable doing, but with him he made me feel comfortable.
“Talk about out of your comfort zone. We were fishing for barra on these banks where there were crocs everywhere and, again, no way would I ever do that on my own, but with him he just made you feel so comfortable.”
That bond continued on[field, with Clarke declaring Symonds one of “my favourite batsmen to bat with in the Australian team”.
“We just had a really good connection, some of the things that we both enjoyed about batting – you know that running between wickets or even how competitive we were at fielding training to try and improve our fielding. It brought the best out of me,” Clarke said.
“Very fortunate to have spent so much time with him on and off the field, to have played with him.
“Probably the most athletic cricketer I played with, absolute freak of an athlete.”
Having lost so many former teammates and friends in recent times, Clarke said there were “days, there’s moments, that are extremely sad” as he reflected on his relationships with them.
But he said the overwhelming feeling was to focus on the good times, to cherish the fond memories that would live on forever.
“I think that’s the key to remember all those good times and celebrate those,” he added.
“It’s hard to believe. Of all things, an accident – a car accident as well – it’s just so hard to comprehend.
“When you go through some of those feelings, you’ve got to keep remembering the good times.”
Originally published as Former Australian captain Michael Clarke reveals his devastation at Andrew Symonds’ death
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