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November 24, 2008
Cricket Australia is investigating an incident surrounding Andrew Symonds after he was involved in a confrontation with a patron in a Brisbane hotel on Sunday night. Symonds said he was sharing some drinks with other players and "did not in any way provoke this situation".
"A member of the public acted unreasonably towards me while I was with friends at which time I took steps to remove myself from the situation," Symonds said in a statement. "The member of the public was subsequently removed from the premises as a result of his actions."
Symonds was reported by the Sydney Morning Herald to be drinking with players from the Australian rugby league side following the cricket team's 149-run win against New Zealand at the Gabba. The Test was Symonds' first one back following a suspension for going fishing before the one-day series against Bangladesh in August instead of attending a team meeting.
"We are getting as much information as possible to establish what did and did not happen," a Cricket Australia spokesman told AAP. "We understand there was an altercation."
Symonds must now wait on the outcome, which could lead to another ban or, at worst, the loss of his lucrative contract. While Symonds claims to have been provoked, some of those close to the allrounder were disappointed he allowed himself to get into a bad position so soon after his return. The Normanby Hotel in Red Hill, where the incident occurred, is not recommended as a venue for a quiet drink in Brisbane.
He scored 26 and 20 in the first Test, did not take a wicket and held his spot in the squad ahead of Shane Watson, who was dropped for the second Test in Adelaide. In the lead-up to the game Symonds admitted he had been drinking too much before the Darwin incident.
During the two-month break from the game he underwent psychological help and returned knowing he was on his last chance. "I would also like to take the opportunity to clarify reports last week that I am being treated for alcohol addiction," he said. "I am being treated for a stress-related illness and I remain committed to dealing with these issues."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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