Symonds’ wife, Laura, told the Courier-Mail newspaper that the family was in shock.

“He was such a big person and there is just so much of him in his kids,” she said.

Tall, broad-shouldered and dreadlocked, his face daubed in zinc cream, Symonds had an imposing physical presence. He was born in Birmingham, England to a father believed to be of Afro-Caribbean heritage. His adoptive parents moved to Australia when he was an infant.

Symonds was able to hit the ball exceptionally hard and some coaches early in his career dismissed him only as a big-hitter whose untempered appetite for sixes would limit his progress.

But he also could bowl sharp medium pace and off breaks and was an athletic fielder who was able to build a credible test career.

Symonds played 26 test matches for Australia from 2004-2008, posting two centuries, but he was better known as a limited-overs specialist. He played 198 one-day internationals for Australia and won World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007.

The 2007-2008 season was his most prolific in test cricket and was capped by a superb innings of 162 against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

It was the same year he famously felled a naked pitch invader during a one-day international against India at the Gabba ground in Brisbane, hitting him with a rugby-style shoulder charge.

He explained years later that he’d been raised not to take a backward step.

“In the heat of competition there’s a lot of adrenaline and when someone interrupts the match like that it can be frustrating,” he said.

Symonds was a fan of rugby league, and Australia’s National Rugby League planned to hold a minute of silence as a tribute to the cricket star ahead of its match Sunday between the North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers in Brisbane.

In one-day internationals, among his best innings was an unbeaten 143 from 125 balls against Pakistan at the 2003 World Cup when he was far from established in the Australian team. Australia went on to win the tournament.

After retiring as a player, Symonds became a popular commentator for cricket broadcasts.

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