ZB

Symonds learnt Warne secret before death

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Tue, 17 May 2022, 4:59pm
Adam Gilchrist has shed light on Shane Warne's incredible gesture for Andrew Symonds - that "Roy" didn't even know about. Photo / Getty
Adam Gilchrist has shed light on Shane Warne's incredible gesture for Andrew Symonds - that "Roy" didn't even know about. Photo / Getty

Symonds learnt Warne secret before death

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Tue, 17 May 2022, 4:59pm

Shane Warne never got the chance to make good on his offer to Andrew Symonds – but a revelation about how much the Spin King valued his former teammate illustrates just why his death is so painful for the cricket world. 

Tributes have flooded in as people pay their respects to Symonds the man as much as Symonds the cricketer, following his death on Saturday night in a car crash outside of Townsville. 

He was a big-hitter and incredible fielder but so many of the stories being shared in the aftermath of the tragedy have focused on how loyal and genuine Symonds was as a friend. 

A tale from Aussie Test legend Adam Gilchrist sheds light on just how highly Symonds was rated by Warne, who offered the all-rounder a job on the London Spirit coaching staff for The Hundred competition in England. 

Warne – who was appointed head coach of the franchise before he died of a heart attack in Thailand in March – wanted to bring Symonds and former Victorian wicketkeeper Darren Berry on board as assistants. 

What Symonds didn't know until just recently, was Warne had planned to pay the all-rounder out of his own pocket because the Spirit didn't have room for an extra assistant in their budget. 

"I spent the night with Roy at Warnie's big farewell – and the next morning with Roy, which was typically the case," Gilchrist told the Triple M Rush Hour with JB and Billy. 

"He was so upset at the loss of Warnie. Everyone was and is stunned. 

"But a little thing that Roy was telling me just last week – Warnie had been speaking about getting him over to be an assistant coach at the London Spirit in The Hundred competition over there in England. 

"And it was only a couple of weeks ago that Roy found out there was no budget put aside for him. There was nothing documented in London Spirit's set-up. 

"Warnie was doing that on his own accord and was going to pay Roy the wage that he was going to get for being over there and Roy couldn't believe that. 

"That sense of friendship and mateship was everything that Roy built his whole life around, of trust and loyalty. 

"Here we are a few days later after him relaying that story to me, he's disappeared. 

"He was loyal to a fault, he really was." 

Andrew Symonds and Shane Warne in 2006. Photo / Getty 

Elaborating on how the cricket world has reacted to Symonds' tragic death, Gilchrist added on Triple M: "I spent yesterday talking with mates, doing a few interviews, reflecting – and very rarely did it come back to his sporting prowess. 

"It was just about him and his warmth and his humility and he just cared for everyone else. 

"Geez he made you laugh. He was just an absolute crackerjack, naturally funny bloke where he didn't even know he was doing it half the time." 

Symonds and Warne were great mates, becoming even closer in retirement as they shared the commentary box at Fox Sports. 

Speaking after the leg-spin legend's shock death, Symonds told Fox: "My friendship with Shane just grew and grew over the years and he was so generous to me. I've been through some difficult periods and I'd ring him and if he didn't take the call he'd ring me straight back. 

"I've done quite a bit of (commentary) work with him over the last three years and just recently he rang me – probably 10 days (before Warne died) and I was at home and I was getting ready to go fishing actually. And he said, 'I've got some good news for you, Roy. 

"'Remember how we talked about this coaching thing for the London Spirit?' He said, 'I've got you the job'. 

"And I was really looking forward to going to coach with Shane Warne. No. 1 to see how he went about it and then obviously to learn. 

"He said, 'Do you want to dip your toe into the water with coaching? You seem to really know the game quite well and you describe things to me quite well so would you like to give it a go?' 

"So off the back of that that, that opportunity arose and unfortunately I won't get to live that with him."