September 3, 2008

Australian cricket

Where did it all go wrong for Symonds?

Peter English
Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds and Matthew Hayden at Harbhajan Singh's hearing, Adelaide, January 29, 2008
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Alex Brown, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, goes back to January to find the start of Andrew Symonds’ problems, which culminated in him being sent home from Australia’s one-day series in Darwin.

To this day, Symonds has not forgiven Cricket Australia for what transpired in an Adelaide federal courtroom eight months ago. It was there that Symonds and three team-mates were convinced by CA to downgrade a charge of racial abuse against Harbhajan Singh to one of mere verbal abuse - a ploy the Australian players were advised would help ensure a lengthy suspension after the Monkeygate scandal, but one which eventually resulted in Harbhajan escaping sanction altogether.

Harbahjan's reprieve infuriated Symonds, who felt abandoned by administrators he felt were more interested in kow-towing to the influential Indian board than protecting their own. Sources within the Australian team say Symonds has refused all of CA's subsequent attempts to appease him, and the lingering resentment has fuelled his deteriorating attitude to work.

What should Symonds do? The Courier-Mail asks six experts, starting with the former Australia coach John Buchanan.

The winner of a competition to go fishing with Symonds in Darwin will still get the prize, according to AAP’s Adam Cooper.

Peter English is former Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo

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