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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Matthew Cooper

Australian greats start new annual tradition in memory of Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting organised a reunion of some of the greatest cricketers the country has ever produced so they could celebrate the lives of former teammates Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds, who both tragically passed away earlier this year.

Warne died at the age of just 52 after suffering a heart attack while on holiday in Thailand, while Symonds passed away aged 46 after he was involved in a car accident.

And Ponting organised a get together which will now become an annual tradition to pay tribute to Warne and Symonds and also celebrate the "mateship" in Australian cricket.

A group of former players including Ponting, Justin Langer, Brett Lee, Matthew Hayden, Darren Lehmann, Andy Bichel, Adam Gilchrist, Greg Blewett and Shane Watson met up in Victoria and "raised a few glasses to some absent friends".

Speaking to NewsCorp, Blewett said: "With Warnie going like he did, and I think because we've been through what we've been through, that was a bit of a catalyst for getting us all together.

"One of the great things about Australian cricket all in all is the mateship through it all, so to be able to reflect on some of those times – it was quite an emotional weekend, actually.

"We certainly raised a few glasses to some absent friends and it probably made especially this year a bit more special being the first year."

Ponting shared an image of the reunion on social media with the caption: "And the band is back together. What a weekend with these legends."

Fellow Australia legend Rod Marsh also tragically died this year, with the former wicketkeeper passing away on the same day as Warne after suffering a heart attack eight days earlier while travelling to a charity event in Queensland.

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