Australia news February 16, 2012

Symonds retires from all cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff

Andrew Symonds, the former Australia allrounder, has announced his retirement from professional cricket, citing family reasons. He hasn't played for Australia since being sent home from the World Twenty20 in England three years ago, but has turned out for several domestic sides in limited-overs cricket.

His only current contract was with the Mumbai Indians, but he will not be participating in this year's IPL. "Effective immediately, I am retiring from all forms of professional cricket," Symonds said. "It is with regret that I will not be able to fulfill my final year of the IPL with the Mumbai Indians. Mumbai Indians and the IPL have both been very supportive of me, but the impending arrival of my first child is a priority."

Symonds, 36, had cut ties with his home side Queensland before the 2010-11 Big Bash, and has only played for Mumbai since. He was snapped up for $850,000 at the IPL auction last year, but he had an indifferent time with Mumbai. Symonds failed to make a half-century in either the IPL or the Champions League T20 in 2011, and struggled to hold down a permanent spot in the line-up.

Mumbai thanked Symonds for his performance in 2011. "Andrew Symonds was an integral part of Mumbai Indians in season four as well as our Champions League-winning team," a team spokesman said. "He was a great team player and the youngsters always looked up to him for guidance."

A two-time World Cup winner, Symonds was an acknowledged master of limited-overs cricket. A combination of big-hitting, tigerish fielding and an ability to bowl either spin or medium-pace made him an indispensable part of the Australia side for much of the 2000s. Picked on his undoubted but as yet unfulfilled promise for the 2003 World Cup, Symonds crashed a match-shaping century against Pakistan, hours after the team had been stunned by Shane Warne's withdrawal due to a drugs offence.

He remained integral to the ODI team thereafter, though given to occasional bouts of indiscipline. Symonds was dropped from the team in England in 2005 when he turned up for an ODI against Bangladesh in Cardiff while still under the influence of alcohol. The issue of drinking would re-emerge in 2008.

At the time it seemed Symonds had belatedly transferred his ODI influence form to Test matches, but he became embroiled in the biggest controversy of his career after alleging that India offspinner Harbhajan Singh racially abused him in the Sydney Test in 2008.

The fall-out from the episode, which had Harbhajan's original ban reduced to a fine after Cricket Australia cut a side-deal with an indignant Indian board in order to save the tour, caused Symonds to become disillusioned and increasingly wayward in his lifestyle, both with and away from the national team.

His international career was hit by more trouble later that year, when he missed a compulsory team meeting to go on a fishing trip ahead of a one-day series against Bangladesh. He was left out for the India tour which followed, as well as the visit to South Africa soon after.

Symonds was given a chance to prove himself once more at the World Twenty20 in 2009, but an alcohol-related issue prior to the tournament brought his Australia days to an end.

Edited by Siddarth Ravindran

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 19, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    Goodbye Symonds. Thanks for all the memories. What a superb batsman you were. Fearless like Gayle.

  • Brian on February 18, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    Sad indeed. He is a great athlete.

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    though as indians we have a very experience of him with the bhajji incident but on his day he was just the best in the world excellent batsman clever bolwer(not many can bowl medium pace and spin) and an awesome feilder i dont think we(MI) will miss him more this season but i think he player a big role not as a player but as a mentor or a senior experienced player helping bhajji yes bhajji live a happy and safe life ahead symoo

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    farewell symonds perhaps u can have a farewell match in ipl

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    All the best Symonds is one of the greatest hitters of the cricket ball as a srilankan he always feared me when he came to bat!! Best Regards Symonds u are great all rounder Farewell!!!!

  • Sue on February 18, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    All the best to Andrew Symonds in this new venture in his life. Congratulations to you and your partner for the birth of your child. May all be well for you and your family and life continue to give you what you wish for.

  • world on February 18, 2012, 3:41 GMT

    Truely great player...............Hope he returns to Mumbai Indians because he is 36 now and can play IPL 2 to 3 years even after taking 1 year rest.

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    farewell symonds we will all miss you

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    a TRUE LEGEND!!! thanks are an Electric on the Field!! the Power House!!! really we miss you in Most Times!!

  • brenta on February 17, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    Symonds was the true all rounder. Great fielder, an athlete who could bowl spin or medium as well as being a brute of a batsmen. Certainly in the top 3 in our team when winning those world cups.

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