Recovering Symonds making off-field progress
Andrew Symonds is showing "all the right signals" about coming back strong following his suspension from the South Africa tour, according to Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland. Symonds met with senior Cricket Australia officials in Melbourne on Thursday to outline his way back from a disrupted season, which began with him missing the tour of India due to his off-field behaviour.
However, Sutherland said Symonds had already made "significant progress" and he was confident it would continue. "I don't think he is under illusions as to where he is up to," Sutherland said in the Age. "What was very clear to me in the room [on Thursday] was that everyone was very supportive of him, and very focused on one thing, and that is getting Andrew Symonds back on deck with a fantastic foundation to make sure he can make a big contribution to Australian cricket."
Symonds' counsellors were also at the meeting and Sutherland said Symonds was looking forward. "There is absolutely no doubt about that," he said. "He knows he has, over the next few weeks, a fantastic opportunity to prove that he is back and ready to go and that's not only in the context of what he needs to do with Queensland Cricket, but also in working with the people who are helping him with some of his off-field issues."
Queensland have picked Symonds in their matches against Victoria and South Australia next week. He made his comeback from knee surgery in a Sheffield Shield game at the Gabba, scoring 5 and 3, but was not considered for the tour of South Africa due to his off-field troubles, which included being fined A$4000 for a radio interview targeting Brendon McCullum.
"Andrew is making all the right signals," Sutherland said. "I have a pretty clear understanding of what he has been through over the past couple of months and what he is working on and there is some quite significant progress he has made. I'm confident that can continue."