The late Andrew Symonds was honoured with a touching tribute at the first ODI between Australia and Zimbabwe in Townsville on Sunday.
Australia secured a comprehensive five-wicket victory over Zimbabwe at Riverway Stadium.
Watch Australia v Zimbabwe. Every ODI Live & Exclusive to Fox Sports on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
Cameron Green did the damage with the ball, finishing with figures of 5/33 — his maiden five-wicket haul in international cricket.
Chasing a modest total of 201 for victory, Australia was cruising but Zimbabwe leg-spinner Ryan Burl later sent a scare through the Australian camp by removing big-hitting all-rounders Marcus Stoinis (19 off 14 balls) and Mitchell Marsh (2 off 3 balls) in the same over.
But short-format powerhouse Glenn Maxwell guided the Aussies home with an explosive 32 not out off nine balls that featured five consecutive boundaries and three huge sixes.
There were touching scenes as Symonds was honoured throughout the game with several tributes. The legendary all-rounder died in a car accident in May.
His famous nickname “Roy” and Test number 388 were emblazoned on the turf in Townsville, the city where he spent most of his time after retiring from cricket.
Symonds’ children, Will and Chloe, carried drinks for the Aussie team throughout the match after they lined up with the teams for a minute’s silence prior to the start of play.
At the innings break, Symonds’ children, his wife Laura, sister Louise, mother Barbara and two dogs gathered at the pitch.
His best friend, former cricketer Jimmy Maher, carried out Symonds’ bat and baggy green, while a handful of items — his crab fishing pot, Akubra hat and a fishing rod — were arranged next to the stumps.
Symonds played 26 Tests for Australia and won two ODI World Cups in 2003 and 2007.
The heartwarming tribute was a touching sight for cricket fans.
Cricbuzz’s Bharat Sundaresan tweeted: “Australians celebrate their heroes better than anyone else. Such an incredibly touching tribute to Andrew Symonds that. So wonderful to his beloved dogs accompanying the family.”
Cricket broadcaster Hasha Bhogle said: “Isn’t it brilliant that the family of Andrew Symonds was allowed such a lovely part at the game in Townsville? Including letting his children run the drinks and having a little event in the break? Very nice.”
ESPN Cricinfo’s Andrew McGlashan said: “Nice moment to see Andrew Symonds’ children, Will and Chloe, running out the drinks to the Australians.”
Earlier, Australian superstar Steve Smith pulled off a stunning outfield catch to remove Tony Munyonga, diving towards the boundary rope and catching the Kookaburra over his shoulder.
Wessly Madhevere topscored for Zimbabwe with 72 off 91 balls, while leg-spinner Adam Zampa claimed three wickets.
The second ODI between Australia and Zimbabwe gets underway at the same venue on Wednesday, with the first ball scheduled for 9.40am AEST.