Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, who found himself getting unwittingly involved in the 'Monkeygate affair' when it unfolded during the second Test at Sydney in 2008, termed former Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds -- who died in a car crash in Queensland on Saturday -- as a "live-wire" on the cricket field.
"Andrew Symond's demise is shocking news for all of us to absorb. Not only was he a brilliant all-rounder, but also a live-wire on the field. I have fond memories of the time we spent together in Mumbai Indians. May his soul rest in peace, condolences to his family and friends," Tendulkar tweeted on Sunday morning.
Symonds, 46, was the sole passenger in the crash just outside of Townsville in his home state of Queensland and police confirmed that a 46-year-old died at the scene of the mishap.
During the infamous Sydney Test in January 2008, which Australia won by 122 runs, Tendulkar was at the non-striker's end when the altercation between India spinner Harbhajan Singh and Symonds took place, which later came to be called the 'Monkeygate affair'.
Symonds accused Harbhajan of calling him a 'monkey', which triggered a war of words between the two sides. In fact, India even threatened to cancel the tour and return home after the spinner was initially suspended for three Tests.
Initially, Tendulkar denied hearing anything, but the legendary cricketer later insisted that Harbhajan had actually said a Hindi slang which was a long way from being a racist remark.
The then Australian skipper Ricky Ponting complained to match referee Mike Procter about the India spinner calling Symonds a 'monkey'. Ponting then pressed charges against Harbhajan despite the then India skipper Anil Kumble's request to apologise.
Harbhajan was then slapped with a three-Test ban, which brought the two powerful cricket boards on a confrontation path -- and left the series in jeopardy.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed New Zealand High Court judge John Hansen to hear Harbhajan's ban appeal after the Test series. The tour continued and Hansen later trusted Tendulkar's testimony to conclude lack of evidence to press racism charges against Harbhajan.
Harbhajan Singh mourns Andrew Symonds' death
India spinner Harbhajan Singh, who was involved in one of the biggest on-field controversies that threatened to spoil the relationship between the Australian and India cricket boards, on Sunday paid his tribute to legendary all-rounder Andrew Symonds who was killed in a car crash in Queensland on Saturday.
The off-spinner took to twitter to pay his tribute to the 46-year-old former Australian all-rounder, saying the cricketing great went too soon.
"Shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Andrew Symonds. Gone too soon. Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. Prayers for the departed soul. #RIPSymonds," tweeted Harbhajan.
The charismatic all-rounder played 26 Tests for Australia, scoring 1,462 runs at 40.61 and picking up 24 wickets with his off-spin and gentle medium-pace.
During the second Test of the series between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2008, Symonds scored an unbeaten 162 in the first innings that helped the hosts to a 122-run victory.
However, the Test would later be mired in controversy over the 'Monkeygate affair'. Symonds accused Harbhajan of calling him a 'monkey', which triggering a war of words between the two sides. In fact, India even threatened to cancel the tour and return home after the spinner was initially suspended for three games.
Symonds had then lodged a complaint that he had been racially abused by Harbhajan. The case then went to match referee Mike Procter, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) lodging a protest over their player's suspension.
However, later the racism charge against Harbhajan could not be proved and the three-Test ban was lifted.
Symonds also featured in 198 ODIs -- scoring six centuries and 30 half-centuries -- while also contributing 133 wickets with his more than handy off-spin and medium pace.
It was at the 2003 World Cup where Symonds burst onto the stage with perhaps his greatest innings as he smashed Pakistan with an unbeaten 143 in Johannesburg early in the tournament and helped Australia remain unbeaten and defeat India in a one-sided final.
The right-hander was also part of the victorious World Cup side at the 2007 World Cup in West Indies as Australia claimed their fourth 50-over World Cup title.
Symonds also played 14 T20I for Australia, managing 337 runs and eight wickets.