Symonds 'as ready as any player'
Andrew Symonds' psychologist Deidre Anderson believes the allrounder is unlikely to be a disruption to his team-mates should he win the backing of Cricket Australia following his latest off-field incident. However, it is unclear whether that will be enough to save his immediate future, with reports that he might be left out of the squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa.
Symonds will face a code of behaviour hearing in Melbourne on Thursday and a fine of up to $5750 is the likely outcome as, despite his history of controversy, it is the first time he has been reported under Cricket Australia's code. But a report in the Australian said Cricket Australia would not let the issue end there and Symonds could face time out of the game after also being stood down in August following his Darwin fishing trip.
After the Darwin incident, Symonds was told to undertake a counselling programme and he later conceded that alcohol had played a part in his poor attitude in 2008. He had reportedly been drinking at a pub before the confused radio interview in which he called Brendon McCullum a "lump of s...", the remark that got him reported by Cricket Australia for detrimental public comment.
Cricket Australia will ask for Anderson's opinion on Symonds' frame of mind and Anderson said it was important to keep the radio interview in context. "If he gets through this and [Cricket Australia] back him, I think we are going to see two to three years of outstanding performances from a good cricketer and a good man," Anderson told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I think he is as ready as any other player in the team. If you dig deep enough we all have things to work through and this is his. We all have triggers that make us do things that in retrospect we would prefer not to have done.
"Alcohol may be a part of it but it's a case of assessing the person you are and the person you would like to be. Unfortunately, this mishap has come up, there is a lot of context to it and I hope a little bit of common sense prevails."
Symonds was this week preparing for a return to Queensland's Sheffield Shield side on Friday, following his recovery from knee surgery earlier this month. His manager Matt Fearon said Symonds was keen to attend Thursday's hearing before the retired judge, Gordon Lewis, in person if possible. "He's treating this very seriously because he's focused on getting back and playing his best cricket," Fearon told AAP.