The Andrew Symonds saga June 4, 2009

Oops, he's done it again

Despite grace from some of the most powerful people in Australian cricket, the Australian allrounder has failed them. Everybody involved was disappointed, but nobody was shocked that he did it again
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Oops, he's done it again. Showing the self control of Britney Spears in her crew-cut phase, Andrew Symonds has fallen off another wagon and been sent home from a tour of England. Now not even a hit album will be able to return his former life as an all-conquering allrounder.

Four years ago Symonds toppled off a wheelie bin at training following an all-nighter before a one-day loss to Bangladesh in Cardiff. This time he slipped a couple of days before Australia's opening World Twenty20 match and will fly home to Australia for meetings that must not be allowed to save his career.

Symonds was at a dinner with Australia's Twenty20 squad at a west London hotel on Wednesday night and was well behaved early in the night. An early-morning trip to watch the State of Origin rugby league changed the circumstances and his travel plans.

James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, said the punishment was a result of breaching team rules over the past two days. Some of his personal conditions to his employers were also broken. Sutherland had no reason to be surprised.

In Cardiff in 2005 there were board members who wanted Symonds' contract torn up, but he turned into the country's pet project and has now run out of international lives. Over the past year his continual transgressions, ranging from minor to moderate, have been an embarrassment. The spiral began in the West Indies and then took in Darwin fishing trips, excessive drinking and scuffles in bars. He wore out international and domestic team-mates, rambled and swore during a radio interview and was banned from the tours to South Africa. He had already not been considered for the 2008 trip to India despite developing career-best consistency at Test level.

There were apologies and vows to do better, counselling sessions and more promises. Nothing changed, except his form, which dipped lower than Australia's new budget deficit.

At each step he was given support and with each return there was a relapse. While Symonds has been the easily-forgiven problem child, Cricket Australia have been the parents who actually believed the grunts of apology, thinking only of slammed sixes over midwicket and lifted run-rates when calling him from his room. There have been many mistakes throughout this saga; allowing Symonds to rejoin the national squad was a basic one.

Symonds was not picked in the Ashes squad, which was a good decision, but the move was ruined with his inclusion in the Twenty20 side after an unconvincing tour of the United Arab Emirates. His IPL team's victory prevented Symonds from attending the squad camp in Queensland last month, creating a further disruption, but Ricky Ponting, a staunch supporter, said at the time he still expected the allrounder to be part of the one-day campaign following the England Tests. Not anymore.

Despite grace from some of the most powerful people in Australian cricket, Symonds has failed them. Everybody involved was disappointed, particularly a sad looking Sutherland. But nobody was shocked that he did it again.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mercutio on June 8, 2009, 22:43 GMT

    Dear Peter, oops, the Aussies are out of the tournament! I wonder why? Hey, you can blame Symonds for being kicked out and upsetting the team! On the other hand if he had been there, as that rarity, to paraphrase Chappelli, a middle order player who can change the course of a match, the Aussies might still be there too. But no, I see your point. It was more important to be able to distinguish between public and private drinking. Within the new team culture, facades are more important than the real thing. The irony is that as a freelance he will earn more than his current contract, and be much happier. Will you and your mates leave him alone now? Of course not, he makes good copy. Oops, I nearly forgot. The Irish are in the semis! As a third generation Irishman, it does me little heart proud! By the way Pete, I thought contracts were personal things, to be kept within the team. Howcome you were the first 'outsider' to find out? Hmmm, interesting that. Opens up a lot of possibilities.

  • Nabeel313 on June 6, 2009, 12:04 GMT

    In my opinion, Peter English is as harsh on Symmonds as Indian media did in the past when he was invloved in hot exchange of words with Harbajan Singh. Since 2003 CWC, he is a role model for power play on the field. I think the Aussie Board has been very very unfair to him as well. He is labelled as "BAD BOY" by media and every one is judging him on the highest level of moralities from him. Millions of his fans want him in action.

  • Nipun on June 5, 2009, 16:45 GMT

    It's shocking to see how much is being made off a harmless incident.Symonds did not use vulgar words against his opponents,he did not bunk team meetings & practice sessions,& he did not get into trouble with anyone.Why so much fuss? It's different,though,if in CA's central contract,it was written:- ...& ANDREW SYMONDS IS NOT ALLOWED TO DRINK ANYTHING OTHER THAN PLAIN WATER & MILK.EVEN THOSE DRINKS MENTIONED SHOULD BE GIVEN TO HIM AFTER PERFORMING CHEMICAL TESTS.

  • Nipun on June 5, 2009, 16:37 GMT

    @madmax:-Man,u need to c the fine line between sledging & having a talk with your opponenets.Had Symo spoken vulger stuff,surely he would have been reported.He was having some chat with young Pandey,but it was nothing malicious.& what do u mean by YOUNG ??? If you are Young,does that mean u have to be placed in craddles & talked with love ??? How funny is that ??? Cricket is a MAN's game,there is no place for men who can't handle the heat

  • squidhead on June 5, 2009, 16:06 GMT

    I've already said elsewhere that Symonds has been very harshly treated and since so many others have done the same here there's not much else to be said. One thing though - it seems he was prohibited from drinking IN PUBLIC but not in the team hotel or in the dressing rooms and so on. I'm not sure there could be any more damning evidence that CA is more concerned about image than about Symonds's apparent alcohol problem (I'm reluctant to say alcoholism - none of us know if that's appropriate or not). I think this revelation about the unique clause in his contract came after Mr. English wrote this article

  • Sampdoria on June 5, 2009, 9:53 GMT

    There are lots of extreme comments from supporters and naggers.

    First of all, Symonds is a good player who made a great comeback and showed it in the IPL where he helped his team win the title.

    For supporters, it's not about having a beer at a beloved sports event - its more. I'm sure Symonds rehabilitation process includes AA type No Drinking policy. Apart from that, he represents a great team and sporting nation. During a public event such as this, he represents himself as much as his nation!

    For Naggers, stop treating him as a whipping boy. It's not like he's assaulted someone or broke the law.

    As a fan, I'm disappointed at the guy who I will, most probably not see playing in Aussie colours again. He's also let down his biggest supporter - the Captain.

  • mamboman on June 5, 2009, 9:42 GMT

    Symonds should have his contract torn up immediately. I would be ashamed, as a Queenslander myself, to ever see him play for the Bulls again.

    No pity, no sympathy - he has had more chances than he deserves and he has blown every one of them.

  • Sanjiyan on June 5, 2009, 8:50 GMT

    To everyone crying about the fact that its 'just' a few beers it's not. Symmo has had alcohol problems for a while now and he made promises and vows to better himself. He hasn't, which means dire consequinces. He also has a role modle function within the team being one of the most senior players in a very young team. His actions make an impression on the younger guys as well which also should be taken into consideration. If he can get away with almost anything what will the newer guys think? He's had more than his fair share of let offs and now its time he toughens up and takes his punishment like a man.

    I dont deny hes a greatly talented player..in my book hes not the greatest around but hes up there. But with greatness comes great responsibility....

  • nirvanam on June 5, 2009, 8:10 GMT

    Reading the comments I am pleased to see that Symmo has support from many Indians like me, and of course cricket fans all around the world.Why can't society accept that each individual is different.Why do we need to clone them? I must admit my admiration for Symmo is grudging and many would feel that like me many other Indians would love this episode but what has happened to him is just not right. He is a human being for God's sake. He is an individual not a robot.The CA must realize that Oz cricket is what it is because of its characters.Come on guys accept that Symmo is different and give him his space. What should matter is his performance on the field nothing more. After all, he didn't murder anybody, he is only living his life. He is not a menace to society, why treat him like one. Oz cricket, of late, is making all the wrong decisions.

  • Aussie_Bloke on June 5, 2009, 6:42 GMT

    Give the guy a break....He is from QUEENSLAND. Of course he was going to watch the State of Origin. It's a part of his culture as a QLDER.

    I think that CA has been way too harsh. Whether or not we need him is irrelevent. We will still win the comp without him, but he has been punished a bit too harshly this time.

    At least QLD beat NSW in the first game and Roy will be back home with his mates to watch QLD win the remaining 2 games.

    Obviously the guys on the CA board are New South Welshmen.

  • Mercutio on June 8, 2009, 22:43 GMT

    Dear Peter, oops, the Aussies are out of the tournament! I wonder why? Hey, you can blame Symonds for being kicked out and upsetting the team! On the other hand if he had been there, as that rarity, to paraphrase Chappelli, a middle order player who can change the course of a match, the Aussies might still be there too. But no, I see your point. It was more important to be able to distinguish between public and private drinking. Within the new team culture, facades are more important than the real thing. The irony is that as a freelance he will earn more than his current contract, and be much happier. Will you and your mates leave him alone now? Of course not, he makes good copy. Oops, I nearly forgot. The Irish are in the semis! As a third generation Irishman, it does me little heart proud! By the way Pete, I thought contracts were personal things, to be kept within the team. Howcome you were the first 'outsider' to find out? Hmmm, interesting that. Opens up a lot of possibilities.

  • Nabeel313 on June 6, 2009, 12:04 GMT

    In my opinion, Peter English is as harsh on Symmonds as Indian media did in the past when he was invloved in hot exchange of words with Harbajan Singh. Since 2003 CWC, he is a role model for power play on the field. I think the Aussie Board has been very very unfair to him as well. He is labelled as "BAD BOY" by media and every one is judging him on the highest level of moralities from him. Millions of his fans want him in action.

  • Nipun on June 5, 2009, 16:45 GMT

    It's shocking to see how much is being made off a harmless incident.Symonds did not use vulgar words against his opponents,he did not bunk team meetings & practice sessions,& he did not get into trouble with anyone.Why so much fuss? It's different,though,if in CA's central contract,it was written:- ...& ANDREW SYMONDS IS NOT ALLOWED TO DRINK ANYTHING OTHER THAN PLAIN WATER & MILK.EVEN THOSE DRINKS MENTIONED SHOULD BE GIVEN TO HIM AFTER PERFORMING CHEMICAL TESTS.

  • Nipun on June 5, 2009, 16:37 GMT

    @madmax:-Man,u need to c the fine line between sledging & having a talk with your opponenets.Had Symo spoken vulger stuff,surely he would have been reported.He was having some chat with young Pandey,but it was nothing malicious.& what do u mean by YOUNG ??? If you are Young,does that mean u have to be placed in craddles & talked with love ??? How funny is that ??? Cricket is a MAN's game,there is no place for men who can't handle the heat

  • squidhead on June 5, 2009, 16:06 GMT

    I've already said elsewhere that Symonds has been very harshly treated and since so many others have done the same here there's not much else to be said. One thing though - it seems he was prohibited from drinking IN PUBLIC but not in the team hotel or in the dressing rooms and so on. I'm not sure there could be any more damning evidence that CA is more concerned about image than about Symonds's apparent alcohol problem (I'm reluctant to say alcoholism - none of us know if that's appropriate or not). I think this revelation about the unique clause in his contract came after Mr. English wrote this article

  • Sampdoria on June 5, 2009, 9:53 GMT

    There are lots of extreme comments from supporters and naggers.

    First of all, Symonds is a good player who made a great comeback and showed it in the IPL where he helped his team win the title.

    For supporters, it's not about having a beer at a beloved sports event - its more. I'm sure Symonds rehabilitation process includes AA type No Drinking policy. Apart from that, he represents a great team and sporting nation. During a public event such as this, he represents himself as much as his nation!

    For Naggers, stop treating him as a whipping boy. It's not like he's assaulted someone or broke the law.

    As a fan, I'm disappointed at the guy who I will, most probably not see playing in Aussie colours again. He's also let down his biggest supporter - the Captain.

  • mamboman on June 5, 2009, 9:42 GMT

    Symonds should have his contract torn up immediately. I would be ashamed, as a Queenslander myself, to ever see him play for the Bulls again.

    No pity, no sympathy - he has had more chances than he deserves and he has blown every one of them.

  • Sanjiyan on June 5, 2009, 8:50 GMT

    To everyone crying about the fact that its 'just' a few beers it's not. Symmo has had alcohol problems for a while now and he made promises and vows to better himself. He hasn't, which means dire consequinces. He also has a role modle function within the team being one of the most senior players in a very young team. His actions make an impression on the younger guys as well which also should be taken into consideration. If he can get away with almost anything what will the newer guys think? He's had more than his fair share of let offs and now its time he toughens up and takes his punishment like a man.

    I dont deny hes a greatly talented player..in my book hes not the greatest around but hes up there. But with greatness comes great responsibility....

  • nirvanam on June 5, 2009, 8:10 GMT

    Reading the comments I am pleased to see that Symmo has support from many Indians like me, and of course cricket fans all around the world.Why can't society accept that each individual is different.Why do we need to clone them? I must admit my admiration for Symmo is grudging and many would feel that like me many other Indians would love this episode but what has happened to him is just not right. He is a human being for God's sake. He is an individual not a robot.The CA must realize that Oz cricket is what it is because of its characters.Come on guys accept that Symmo is different and give him his space. What should matter is his performance on the field nothing more. After all, he didn't murder anybody, he is only living his life. He is not a menace to society, why treat him like one. Oz cricket, of late, is making all the wrong decisions.

  • Aussie_Bloke on June 5, 2009, 6:42 GMT

    Give the guy a break....He is from QUEENSLAND. Of course he was going to watch the State of Origin. It's a part of his culture as a QLDER.

    I think that CA has been way too harsh. Whether or not we need him is irrelevent. We will still win the comp without him, but he has been punished a bit too harshly this time.

    At least QLD beat NSW in the first game and Roy will be back home with his mates to watch QLD win the remaining 2 games.

    Obviously the guys on the CA board are New South Welshmen.

  • cricsans on June 5, 2009, 6:35 GMT

    Roy's crime was not having a few drinks. That he left the hotel room in the early hours to watch a game of rugby between Queensland and NSW; without informing the team manager. I read a reference that CA is his employer... oh wow! And another argument put forward is CA has been very supportive. What a joke.

    Circus Australia never supported Roy in the Monkey-gate scandal. They were busy sucking up to BCCI. What do you call such an employer and the management? Supportive?

    One of the reasons why Cricket boards around the world must be shut down. Paying spectators want to see Roy play cricket. Not CA and Ponting's "schoolboy morality nonsense'.

    Can you imagine Deccan Chargers asking Symonds to go home for watching a game of Rugby and having a few beers?

    IPL is problematic for sure. Just that it might help break up the cricket boards too.

  • The_Darkhorse on June 5, 2009, 5:46 GMT

    Shane Warne's had his turn. And now its time for Andrew Symonds - the musical.

  • Prats6 on June 5, 2009, 5:04 GMT

    This is disgusting ! I was shocked to know this yesterday .. when the news broke out. I think the Aussie Board has been very very unfair to him. The man just had drinks off the field , whats wrong ? If it was done by a Ponting or a Clarke its fine but Symmo .. no no .. he is their favourite whipping boy. I hope Aussies loose badly and ask him to come back .. I think its more to do with Clarke's rivalry with Symmo than anything else. Also , Clarke's a man who does not deserve respect, of anyone .. Neither with his on filed antics or off field.. I just hate him.

  • OM3GA on June 5, 2009, 4:57 GMT

    Drinking off the field is not such a crime, everybody does (including pup and punter). Everyone knows about dispute between pup and roy. I can smell lot of politics in this incident. this aus team got no strength with bat, let us see if lee/johnson/braken can win this for Aus.

  • gauravmudgil on June 5, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    Its really unfortunate for Cricketing fans and Symonds that he is part of a team like Australlia. Had he been playing for some other country (including India), he would have gotten away with this easily. Moreover, off the field he is free to do whatever he wants to and should not affect his career. Let's not forget that Jenson Button, the current leader in F1 is a big playboy. But that does not hamper his career. Then why do cricket managers have to do this to a talented player. AUSTRALLIA WILL PAY DEARLY FOR THIS, WATCH OUT THEY WILL BE THRASHED BY OPPOSITION LIKE INDIA AND SOUTH AFRICA IN THEIR POOL. MARK MY WORDS

  • vezayar on June 5, 2009, 4:26 GMT

    All Australians, or at least those who are of NSW or QLD birth understand the cultural significance assigned to the event known as state of origin. It is almost customary or at least synonymous with indulging in a beer or two while Origin is on. To align Simmo with alcoholism because he had a drink while watching an event of such great cultural siginificance, as a QLD'er, who has more then likely had a drink during every Origin since he could legally drink is downright ignorant. This is not to say that he did not break the rules as he clearly did. BUT, it's the context in which the misdemeanour occured, was reported and how it was handled that strikes me as bizarre and borders on being un-Australian. It leads me to think there is far more to this story then what we have been told. Only time will tell, i guess.

  • regin on June 5, 2009, 4:09 GMT

    I think the Australian cricket board is being harsh & unreasonable. So, what if he drinks off he field? He is an aggressive & powerful batsmen, superb fielder & decent bowler. Australia are at a big loss, after the departure of Hayden & Gilly, he is their best batsmen (along with Ponting) & all-rounder. Shame to waste such talent.

  • thefreak on June 5, 2009, 4:02 GMT

    Again he does it!

    And please! Symo is by no means a "great" cricketer! He is a very good one who had the potential of becoming a great but sadly he never ever delivered enough to become one.

    Yes he was one of the most exciting of the cricketers and has been part of the most exciting team the world has ever seen, but cricket (like any other sport) is as much a game of talent as discipline. Any player lacking one of the two is doomed as Symo has been.

    Shame for the world of cricket entertainment but he should get what he deserves.

  • Jambo22 on June 5, 2009, 3:51 GMT

    My questions are (1) why did his team-mates let him come with them to the pub to watch the rugby league? and (2) Why did they let him order a drink?

    Surely everyone in the team would have known Symonds' situation and someone would have said, "Don't order that beer, mate". It is Symonds' fault, for sure, but aren't your mates supposed to help you out?

  • pgoel on June 5, 2009, 3:24 GMT

    I am amazed @ the # of posts labeling Roy a great cricketer/all-rounder. Roy is good, maybe very good, but certainly not great - would you mention him along Sachin, Ponting, Lara, Wasim, Imran, Sobers, Botham, Viv - they are greats of the game. Symonds is a brat - CA has been an extremely patient employer - how many of you guys has an employer who would give you as many chances? Roy had one of the best jobs in the world (being a key member of the Ozzie first team) - I don't know about you, but I would give up drinking for ever if I could switch positions... I applaud CA's decision - I wish other boards would take notice. Playing for your country is a privilege and should be treated as such.

  • eza77 on June 5, 2009, 2:42 GMT

    Just to reply to arjun Mal wankers comment about being banned from even domestic cricket .... I`m not sure who would benefit from banning one of the best and most exciting cricketers in the world . Let alone for having a couple of beers while watching his beloved rugby league .... not sure if you are a beer guzzler arjun but there is plenty worse happening out there than that ... I sure would still pay top dollar to watch him perform

  • sanyam_kamat on June 5, 2009, 1:52 GMT

    i agree with guru this is indeed very unfortunate for us fans as well. Symonds is an amazing talent and its a pity that he wont be playing in this T20 WC. lets c how Aus fare in this ICC T20...

  • sammykent on June 4, 2009, 23:53 GMT

    On one hand you want to think he was just having a beer and to leave him alone but on the other hand we do not know very much about what happened. For Symonds to be sent home means something of consequence must have happened. There is no doubt pressure from the players to turf him as well. If you are playing well and putting forward a case for selection and keep getting knocked back in place of Symonds it would become frustrating. I do not agree with the comments that he is the greatest all-rounder. He is good but with the patchy form he has had lately I think he should become a T20 specialist so he can afford himself the lifestyle he craves (so long as it is healthy). The leadership at CA and within the team have really tried hard to help him to be the best he can be and he has obviously disappointed them one too many times. Credit should go to them for understanding depression and persisiting as long as they did.

  • Lazys0d1990 on June 4, 2009, 22:52 GMT

    Symonds shoold've known better. I'm not saying he shouldn't go out drinking - the man's entitled to a few beers - but it sounds like it got out of control (again). And while the likes of Warne and Gibbs made various cock ups, they never let their off field mistakes interfere with their on field performance. Sadly Symonds' form has dropped away badly and I can't see him making it back into the team.

  • nafzak on June 4, 2009, 19:44 GMT

    Cricket Australia is strong and has a large talent ready pool to draw from, so they can do this. If we were to apply the same rules and conditions upon teh West Indian players, we'll have a team of one - Shivnarine Chanderpaul. That being said, Symonds should consider moving to the West Indies. He'll fit right in and more importantly we can use him.

  • Sudzz on June 4, 2009, 19:25 GMT

    This is completely ridiculous!!! The man had a few drinks so what, he did not miss the team dinner nor did he do anything so drastic that he had to be sent home

  • JSI86 on June 4, 2009, 18:51 GMT

    Shame Ponting hasn't been able to coax Symonds out of his misdemenours considering he was a bit of a wild card gambler and drinker himself. I guess only Symo could effect any chnage but it's a shame to see such talent go to waste - especially since he can retire safe in the knowledge that he has a multi-million dollar contract with the IPL that doesn't require him to confirm to any regulations of the field so long as he delivers on it.

  • Aahd on June 4, 2009, 18:50 GMT

    Sad for cricket, Symonds is arguably the best all round talent we have in the game but cold blooded professionalism has gotten Australia to where they are now. As a Pakistani I'd just like to kick the PCB in the hinney because they keep letting Shoaib go for much worse and there is no way anyone can convince me Shoaib is a better cricketer than Symonds.

  • Pugnate on June 4, 2009, 18:10 GMT

    The guy was having a beer. Leave him alone.

  • The.Neutralist on June 4, 2009, 17:42 GMT

    It is really unfortunate. World cricket is losing another talented player.

    The offense committed by Symonds was not a big deal, but he failed the promise he kept with the employers...There is no way that he will get another chance...

    So Adios Roy

  • MrFR on June 4, 2009, 17:33 GMT

    Its very sad to see a great player like symonds ending up like this. Hes not just a huge admiration for fans in Australia but he has a tremendous fan following in Pakistan aswell. People make mistakes he did too i wonder y its happening again and i hope CA duznt take extreme measures because hes a fantastic player. I dont agree with anyone who says that he deserves this, he just needs help and motivation to come out of the hole hes throwing himself into. We'r human beings and anyone cud fall off the rail, so does that mean we should turn our backs on someone who was once a great sportsman or should we help him out of the miserable situation hes in for humanitarian reasons. A huge fan from Pakistan!!!

  • ArjunMalwankar on June 4, 2009, 17:24 GMT

    Symonds deserves to be sent back home and should be banned from playing even in domestic cricket. The action taken by the Australian board proves yet again that Symonds is a problem child. I would be waiting to read Ponting's comments on this episode as he is Symonds's main supporter. May be he would come up with some new theory to defend him ... let's wait and see. But in all I applaud this decision.

  • sixesandfours on June 4, 2009, 17:18 GMT

    Politics? is this a war tussle between ponting&co. and symonds alone? Pontign&Co. supports Cub (Michael Clarke) and Cub doesn't like Symmo (on his Prime time) as he was in contention for top job next after ponting? Symmo doesn't deserve this political games in CA cricket. Symmo - you got lot of fan over the cricket world and especially IPL fans and you are a star and well respected as a Deccan Charger. Wish you the best Symmo..

  • suresh_lv on June 4, 2009, 17:11 GMT

    I second Aman on his comment. This is plain misbehavior and ignoring the rules/code of conduct doesnt really help his career or himself. Trex trainer - few drinks ? Yes most of the cricketers do follow basic decorum. Don't you see a trend since 2005 ? He doesn't deserve to be a member of an international cricket team

  • SaiBharadwaj on June 4, 2009, 16:48 GMT

    What has this 'outside thing' got to do with cricket? Is he picked based on the outside behavior or On-field action?

    I think its bad that their own board are being harsh on him. Just take an example of Harbhajan in India, he is one who commits mistakes & escapes nicely bcoz of the support that he is got from his country men & the board itself. Y can't Australia be same & back their own country men?

    Missing Symonds for Australian team is a huge loss & it might make them weaker side. I doubt if they even qualify for semis with Srilanka playing alongside.

  • cricsans on June 4, 2009, 16:44 GMT

    Even priests are allowed a few drinks.

    Peter English, a little bit of 'cricket honesty' wouldn't hurt. This Alcohol Morality of CA and some of the journalists from Australia makes me sick.

    CA didn't support Symonds when it mattered most. They didn't back him on the Bhajji-Monkey episode. CA was more than happy to suck up to BCCI.

    I sincerely wish Symonds retires from international cricket and continues to play for Deccan in T20. CA wouldn't even dare to talk to Modi about kicking Symmo out of IPL.

    Punter's statement is a big big joke: "We've got some young guys who are just finding out what international cricket is all about. This is about the bigger picture and bringing on the next generation of Australian players."

    How old were these neo-moralists when the Chappell brothers, Dennis Keith Lillee, Geof Marsh and Thommo played cricket for Australia? What was the BIG picture then? They are the real Aus cricket legends. Symmo should have played in that era.

  • valvolux on June 4, 2009, 16:35 GMT

    If the guy was serious about his cricket…this being obviously the last chance in international cricket for him…he would've abstaoned from alcohol for the entire tour. I drink a lot - but I can go without a drink for weeks if it was going to cost me my career. If he can't, he still has a problem with drinking, and he should never have been brought back into the team. If their advice was "now Andrew, sure you can still go out and drink, just don't drink too much and get into trouble" then it was bound to happen. People with drinking problems don't just go out and have a few quiet ones with mates. I wish he was still in the team - but he's a screw up fair and square. I just hope his lax attitude isn't due to the fact that he knew the IPL is there as a fall back if his Australian career went tits up……this ban should extend to the IPL in my opinion...attitudes liek his and Gayles should be punished serverly.

  • Sartre on June 4, 2009, 16:27 GMT

    This is a joke. Gibbs suffered the same rubbish of selectors/administrators thinking they have the right to impose moral judgement on these players. Point is- Symonds' drinking doesnt influence his professionalism or cricketing ability on the field. If a players behaviour is of an extreme nature ie attacks teammates aka h.singh style and thereby disrupts the team in a destructive way-sure THEN there may be talks of sanction. Well I guess he p*ssed them (ponting co) off to much and they had enough-fair enough, but proffesional sportsman shouldnt be treated like schoolchildren ie being told not to go drinking, smoke marijuana or whatever on tours. As long as their ON FIELD behaviour and results are up to it why shoot yourself in the foot by banning the best? Hard lines 4 Symmo he deserved much better.

  • pj_king on June 4, 2009, 16:16 GMT

    Come on let him play !! so what if he drinks a beer or two ... he did not hurt anybody or anything .. he is quite a player to watch out in 20 20 format ...be it batting or his verbal antics

  • Lucas_Pallesano on June 4, 2009, 16:14 GMT

    It is a great shame to Australian cricket, indeed to cricket all over the world that this has happened. Andrew Symonds is one of the greatest all-rounders of the modern era and even though being a New Zealander have experienced many an onslaught of Symonds destroying my team with bat and indeed ball, will miss him greatly in this tournament and others to follow. I can only only hope that Jesse Ryder and other cricketers with disciplinary issues do not follow in Symonds footprints and end a career full of greatness with a silly lapse in discipline. I understand his last act may not have been that bad, but still with the warnings he had been given and his age and previous experience, he should have known better.

  • avinash18 on June 4, 2009, 16:08 GMT

    I can only have sympathy for Symmo. Just imagine the state of mind that might have had driven to the brink of alcoholism. Symmo needs support now more than anything else. Love you Symmo!

  • princeofkolkata on June 4, 2009, 15:53 GMT

    Hats off to Symmo, he's done it again!Ii think there are some rules and regulations and some code of conduct which every player has to obey. Discipline is very much important in any sphere of life, be it sport or anything else. He's had his luck but it had to run out once and I think he took one chance too many and he is going to pay for it.

    This is not just about Symmo only but about Australian Cricket also. What lesson is he giving to the young generation? Enough is enough and now he has to go. Like most Indians I was never a big fan of him but neither did I hate him because he was a terrific player but every good thing must come to an end and its sad that his career might end in such a sad way. Good bye Roy, go and learn some disciplines!

  • casley on June 4, 2009, 15:40 GMT

    Symonds has never done anything illegal. This carry-on really gives me the willies. What professional sports people do in their own time is their own business. Honestly... Symonds and Jesse Ryder - amazing cricketers, great characters, being hounded out of the game by these puritan, teetotalling, po-faced idiots like these holier-than-thou journalists (see above - feeding off the bottom as usual). Its a mess and talented cricketers are getting wasted... ... The characters of cricket are an endangered species and we need to preserve them. Need I mention the hypocrisy that alcohol sales fund a lot of Aus cricket?

    Another comment on Cricinfo, another wasted ten minutes...

  • madmax123 on June 4, 2009, 15:39 GMT

    It is definitely a tough decision to make for Cricket Australia when you are going to drop a player like Andrew Symonds. But, when you are representing your country the question is not only how good player you are, but also how you behave because your behavior on and off the field not only make an impact about yourself and also about your country. The second one is definitely is a huge issue. If I am not mistaken the final match between Decan Chargerger"s RC Bangalore the way Andrew Symonds sledged a young star like Manish Pandey is really shocking to see. Time has come to stand up against these odds. I think Sachin Tendulkar is the best example. You can be the best batsman in the world without making noise. Isn't that the best way to go????????

  • VishyKnight on June 4, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    I am actually disappointed with what has happened. Symonds is a match winner and he is someone who has been loyal and put in his lot with the Australian team. He could have easily played for England. It is not the first time that an Australian player has had issues like this. Ponting himself had issues and he was regarded as a 'spoiled brat' and he turned things around and has gone on to become the Australian captain. Instead of talking to Symonds personally and resolving the issues behind the scenes, the Australian board has been waiting for Symonds to make a mistake and then has exposed him repeatedly. Nobody is perfect. But the maturity of the Board and the team leadership shows in the way they handle their talented players who are complex individuals. In Symonds' case Cricket Australia and the team leadership have been found wanting. It is sad. I hope Symonds doesn't retire from all cricket, but continues to play in the IPL, county and other tournaments. We fans need him.

  • drinks.break on June 4, 2009, 14:55 GMT

    The word "alcoholism" has been used of Symonds today in the Sydney Morning Herald. If this is true (more than CA's euphemistic "alcohol-related issues"), then this whole saga is much more complicated than just "he broke his word again - he should know better". Alcoholism is an addiction, which means that the sufferer is to a certain extent helpless to control his urges. An alcoholic isn't an idiot, just a slave.

    So what went wrong this time? Was Symonds rushed back too soon? Was not enough care given to protecting him from situations that could cause a relapse? Or is the "alcoholic" tag a beat-up and he was just being an idiot? We'll never know for sure. But whatever the truth is, this is a sad day for cricket.

  • iamherenowfear on June 4, 2009, 14:39 GMT

    To trex trainer: yes a few drinks are allowed if seen in isolation. but, as sutherland said, seen in the background of his previous misdemeanours it is serious. besides symmo had given personal commitments which he had to maintain.

  • guruofanarchy on June 4, 2009, 14:22 GMT

    this is indeed very unfortunate for us fans as well. Symonds is an amazing talent and its a pity that he wont be playing in this T20 WC.

  • TrexTrainer on June 4, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    Big deal. So what if he had a few drinks. cricket is the only sport where these things r taken so seriously.

  • kris_mg on June 4, 2009, 14:03 GMT

    Yeah.. as you said noone may be surprised.. But this sad new for cricket as another really talented player has opted to turn his back to the sport that gave him everything.. Whatever happends, whether he come for another improbable stint or no, Symondas was always one of the most colourfull, spirited and talented youngsters there on the field.. Even after all these travails it was that fire in his belly that was evident when everyone saw how he competed in the just finished IPL final, the way inwhich he played every ball of the match, the way in which he folloed around the young Pande giving him a piece of his mind.. Ohh man i will miss it.. but those who will miss it most will be the Australian Squad.. They will surely miss this bloke but then then there is no other option left other than cutting him loose.. Sadly Symonds gave us no other option..

  • Nipun on June 4, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    Peter,get your points right.CA did exactly the right thing to recall Symonds after he completed his rehabilitation process.Symonds was not allowed to get back before that.People make mistakes but should be allowed to correct themselves.It's a different story altogether if they do it again.

  • KrishnanN on June 4, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    I feel saddened that this might just be the end of the road for one of Australia's greatest all-rounders and one of the fiercest, in-your-face competitors the game has seen. Frankly, I was shocked that this had happened on the eve of the WC. I thought he had realised his mistake that he had turned over a new leaf. I will greatly miss his flambouyance and his aggresiveness and his mighty tussles with India (my home country). After Warne, Gilchrist and McGrath, he was the one person for whom I followed Australian cricket. Cricket will miss Symonds as much, if not more, than he will miss it. That I assure you!

  • aman.dhingra on June 4, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    symonds deserves this. always has from the very first incident

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  • aman.dhingra on June 4, 2009, 13:32 GMT

    symonds deserves this. always has from the very first incident

  • KrishnanN on June 4, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    I feel saddened that this might just be the end of the road for one of Australia's greatest all-rounders and one of the fiercest, in-your-face competitors the game has seen. Frankly, I was shocked that this had happened on the eve of the WC. I thought he had realised his mistake that he had turned over a new leaf. I will greatly miss his flambouyance and his aggresiveness and his mighty tussles with India (my home country). After Warne, Gilchrist and McGrath, he was the one person for whom I followed Australian cricket. Cricket will miss Symonds as much, if not more, than he will miss it. That I assure you!

  • Nipun on June 4, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    Peter,get your points right.CA did exactly the right thing to recall Symonds after he completed his rehabilitation process.Symonds was not allowed to get back before that.People make mistakes but should be allowed to correct themselves.It's a different story altogether if they do it again.

  • kris_mg on June 4, 2009, 14:03 GMT

    Yeah.. as you said noone may be surprised.. But this sad new for cricket as another really talented player has opted to turn his back to the sport that gave him everything.. Whatever happends, whether he come for another improbable stint or no, Symondas was always one of the most colourfull, spirited and talented youngsters there on the field.. Even after all these travails it was that fire in his belly that was evident when everyone saw how he competed in the just finished IPL final, the way inwhich he played every ball of the match, the way in which he folloed around the young Pande giving him a piece of his mind.. Ohh man i will miss it.. but those who will miss it most will be the Australian Squad.. They will surely miss this bloke but then then there is no other option left other than cutting him loose.. Sadly Symonds gave us no other option..

  • TrexTrainer on June 4, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    Big deal. So what if he had a few drinks. cricket is the only sport where these things r taken so seriously.

  • guruofanarchy on June 4, 2009, 14:22 GMT

    this is indeed very unfortunate for us fans as well. Symonds is an amazing talent and its a pity that he wont be playing in this T20 WC.

  • iamherenowfear on June 4, 2009, 14:39 GMT

    To trex trainer: yes a few drinks are allowed if seen in isolation. but, as sutherland said, seen in the background of his previous misdemeanours it is serious. besides symmo had given personal commitments which he had to maintain.

  • drinks.break on June 4, 2009, 14:55 GMT

    The word "alcoholism" has been used of Symonds today in the Sydney Morning Herald. If this is true (more than CA's euphemistic "alcohol-related issues"), then this whole saga is much more complicated than just "he broke his word again - he should know better". Alcoholism is an addiction, which means that the sufferer is to a certain extent helpless to control his urges. An alcoholic isn't an idiot, just a slave.

    So what went wrong this time? Was Symonds rushed back too soon? Was not enough care given to protecting him from situations that could cause a relapse? Or is the "alcoholic" tag a beat-up and he was just being an idiot? We'll never know for sure. But whatever the truth is, this is a sad day for cricket.

  • VishyKnight on June 4, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    I am actually disappointed with what has happened. Symonds is a match winner and he is someone who has been loyal and put in his lot with the Australian team. He could have easily played for England. It is not the first time that an Australian player has had issues like this. Ponting himself had issues and he was regarded as a 'spoiled brat' and he turned things around and has gone on to become the Australian captain. Instead of talking to Symonds personally and resolving the issues behind the scenes, the Australian board has been waiting for Symonds to make a mistake and then has exposed him repeatedly. Nobody is perfect. But the maturity of the Board and the team leadership shows in the way they handle their talented players who are complex individuals. In Symonds' case Cricket Australia and the team leadership have been found wanting. It is sad. I hope Symonds doesn't retire from all cricket, but continues to play in the IPL, county and other tournaments. We fans need him.

  • madmax123 on June 4, 2009, 15:39 GMT

    It is definitely a tough decision to make for Cricket Australia when you are going to drop a player like Andrew Symonds. But, when you are representing your country the question is not only how good player you are, but also how you behave because your behavior on and off the field not only make an impact about yourself and also about your country. The second one is definitely is a huge issue. If I am not mistaken the final match between Decan Chargerger"s RC Bangalore the way Andrew Symonds sledged a young star like Manish Pandey is really shocking to see. Time has come to stand up against these odds. I think Sachin Tendulkar is the best example. You can be the best batsman in the world without making noise. Isn't that the best way to go????????