England Lions v Australians, Worcester June 29, 2009

Symonds talked about daily - Clarke

Andrew Symonds has gone from the Australian team but remains part of the squad's unofficial agenda and is talked about daily. Symonds was kicked out of the side before the ICC World Twenty20 for breaking self-imposed drinking conditions and appears to be restricting himself to the game's shortest form after saying no to a Queensland contract.

Symonds felt "caged in" by the modern team environment, but Michael Clarke said he attempted to help during Symonds' one-day return against Pakistan. "As captain of that team I tried to make things as easy and as comfortable as I could for him," Clarke said at Worcester. "I asked him to present Doug Bollinger with his first one-day cap and he said he was really thankful for that and enjoyed doing that."

Clarke was very close to Symonds as his career developed, but was captain of the team when the allrounder was sent home for going fishing before the Bangladesh series last year. He was also part of the group that made the most recent decision, effectively ending Symonds' international career.

"I am sure there are a lot of things going through his mind at the minute," Clarke said. "He has been a part of the Australian cricket team for a long time and he is still someone who we talk about daily because of the type of person he is."

Like Shane Warne, Symonds was a magnetic character, particularly for young players, but eventually wore out the squad with his off-field behaviour. "I became not good to be around," Symonds said. "I have let [team-mates] down a number of times."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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