Symonds finds some form on grade scene
Things might be starting to look a bit brighter for Andrew Symonds after his eventful but unproductive season. Symonds, who last week was suspended from the South Africa tour due to his off-field problems, returned to form in Brisbane grade cricket with 137 off 111 for his club side Gold Coast.
While the standard is quite a few steps below international quality, it was easily Symonds' biggest score of the Australian summer and showed he had overcome knee surgery following the Melbourne Test. He will play for Queensland over the next week, but will be unavailable for Australian selection until at least the end of the domestic season.
However, Symonds' break may be timely if it means he is available for all of the second season of the Indian Premier League. Australia have a one-day series against Pakistan in April, but if Symonds is not chosen for that engagement he will be free to receive his full US$1.35m payment from the Deccan Chargers.
"If he is not picked in the Australian team, I would like to see him here for the whole tournament. That would be great," Lalit Modi said in the Sunday Mail. "He would be a wonderful asset.
"If there was a ban on him by the ICC, that is one thing, but he has not made any derogatory comments or done anything wrong as far as the IPL is concerned. He is a contracted player to the Deccan Chargers and I see no reason why he shouldn't be able to play."
Symonds would not be stopped from going to the IPL if he was not part of the national set-up. "We have our first claim over their time, part of the governance that the IPL accepts," the Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young said. "But if they are not playing for us and choose to go to the IPL, that is their business, so long as they report back fresh for Australia."
Symonds has been involved in a handful of incidents this season, starting with his ban for going fishing instead of staying with the team in Darwin. His latest indiscretion came during a radio interview when he abused Brendon McCullum and was later fined A$4000. There are also reports he has suffered heavy losses during the financial crisis.