Indian Premier League 2010 February 18, 2010

Symonds not worried over security in India


Andrew Symonds feels more comfortable with the security situation in India than he did whenever he toured South Africa and the recent terrorist threats against the IPL have not changed his travel plans. Symonds, who was part of Deccan Charger's Twenty20 win last year, intends to join his team-mates in Hyderabad for the tournament next month despite the safety fears.

"India is one of those countries I have never felt intimidated in," he said. "Even when the crowd starts getting a little bit uppity. I have always felt like I could get shot or stabbed more in South Africa. I have never felt that in India."

While many of the Australians involved in the IPL are waiting on the security assessment of Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association, Symonds' participation is not currently in doubt. "At this stage I will be going as planned," he said.

Symonds, who gets US$1.35m for each IPL season, was racially targeted by Indian fans in a couple of ODIs there in 2007, but his time in the Twenty20 competition has led him to call the country a "home away from home". He remembered fondly the reception Deccan received on the streets of Hyderabad after they won the second version of the IPL. That tournament was held in South Africa due to security fears and Symonds was a happy participant.

Greg Chappell, the former India coach, said he also never felt threatened in the country and was concerned that terrorist organisations were targeting sports events. "I think it would be a shame if we were pushed into a position where we were cowed by these sorts of people," he said. "By and large they [the players] are going to be okay."

Symonds, 34, confirmed he would not be seeking another contract in first-class cricket but wants to continue playing Twenty20 for Queensland. After battling for runs in Australia's domestic Twenty20 tournament this summer, he has linked up with Ashleigh Byron, his mentor as a teenager. He was targeted by the short-ball in the Big Bash and was dismissed in ugly fashion a couple of times, showing he was missing the regular, high-level training he had previously received while registering 26 Tests, 198 ODIs and 14 Twenty20 internationals.

Less than a year after his sacking from the Australian side for another drinking misdemeanour, Symonds had only one regret about his dramatic slide. "I'm not bitter about it all," he said. "It was just a tough environment for me to live in - the way that I liked to enjoy myself.

"If I had my time again, I had to sign an agreement to go back into that side and play in that side [after being suspended in 2008-09]. I would never have signed that. It's probably the one regret I do have. The times I played I did enjoy it. It just got to that point where at some point it was going to boil over and it did. I'm happy with that now, it's been dealt with and life goes on."

Symonds was speaking after becoming the 13th Queensland player to be inducted into the state's 100 first-class game club and his parents Ken and Barbara were in the audience. "I never broke the law, Mum, or did anything real bad," he said after telling them he loved them. "I'm not proud of some of the things I did but I'm very proud of some of the things I have done."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • D on February 24, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    Since when the Pak players were snubbed, I had been concerned about a terrorist attack on the IPL. It is certainly a possibility. Symonds' willingness to tour is motivated by the paycheck, sure, but he would also be believing that the threat is not severe. Players do not have to put their lives to prove a point, but hosting the IPL will show terrorists across the border that they cannot paralyze life.

  • Mohsin on February 21, 2010, 16:02 GMT

    Money of IPL makes Aussies forget everything ...they can compromise on security if $$ are available.

  • Dummy4 on February 19, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    Nice to hear from you dear Andrew. I like both the Andrews (Symond & Flintoff). Both of you are really a gem of cricket over all other personal controversies. We miss you both guys. Njoy the Indian Toureee…

  • hassan on February 19, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Totally agree with nymp!!!! All about the money.......especially without an ozzie contract!

  • Premalal on February 19, 2010, 1:39 GMT

    Good on you Symond. We love to see see you in India. You always went on your own terms and don't have to change it now. Also you are free to do what ever you like, be it fishing or a little drink afte a match. Hope Gilly will also follow you. Wish you a very sucessful tournamnet.

  • Usman on February 19, 2010, 1:14 GMT

    with 1.35million at stake, he's totally okay with anything of course.

  • Suhail on February 18, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    I am big fan of Aussies, It would be pleasure to see Aussies in Action in forthcoming IPL. Andrew symonds has always been special. I have high hopes on Deccann Chargers as Gili been the leader of the tem. It's a good combination with Gibbs on side. Good Luck Deccan Chargers!!!!!!!

  • Amir on February 18, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    Nobody cares about security when it comes to money, if this happened in certain other countries it would be cancelled immediately or switched to another country. It's happened before where tours have gone ahead despite massive bombings (England 7/7 & India Mumbai attacks). If the money is right the risk is worth taking - simple.

  • Mustansar on February 18, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    He was the most vociferous amongst Aussies to oppose Pakistan tour a couple of years ago when things weren't that crazy as they are right now. Bombs can explode in Nagpur and Pune and even explicit threats don't deter him now. Difference? Money Talks!

    Best of luck anyway. Cricket must go on but hypocrisy should stop.

  • Amit on February 18, 2010, 11:53 GMT

    Iam a fan of charger so happy to see him playing in indian condtion

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