Mark Taylor saw Andrew Symonds as an imposing man able to preserve almost a child-like love of cricket amid the complexity of professionalism.

“He was an entertainer in an era where professionalism really is a throwaway word that we use probably too often,” Taylor said on the Nine Network. “He wanted to go out there and have fun and play the game he remembered as a kid.

“At times he got in trouble for not going to training or maybe having a few too many beers, but that is the way he lived his life and the way he wanted to play his cricket also.”

Symonds famously attended an early contract meeting with Australian Cricket chief executive Malcolm Speed bare-footed and wearing a cowboy hat. He retained that disdain for convention throughout his career and that was part of his appeal to fans.

But he increasingly came into conflict with authority late in his career. In 2008 he missed Australia’s one-day series against Bangladesh after going fishing when he was required to attend a team meeting. He also was disciplined prior to the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup for breaching team rules around alcohol.

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