November 24, 2008

Savage grace

Andrew Symonds is a simple man, yet full of contradictions, who needs to grow up to the realities of being a high-profile sportsman
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It has been a chequered last 11 months for Andrew Symonds © Getty Images
 

Andrew Symonds is a simple man who longs for the bush, but is consumed, frustrated and often unable to cope with life as a high-profile international sportsman. He is so talented and entertaining that people are drawn to him, but he carries many contradictions. He can endear and create fear, be selfless and immensely self-centred.

Some days Symonds smiles at autograph hunters and enjoys the attention. On others he has been known to tell them to f*** off as fiercely as he hits in the final overs of a one-day international. He can be pleasant, sincere and hilarious, or sarcastic, cruel and intolerant.

He is a man who will stop on the rural road near his home in the Gold Coast hinterland to check that a lady walking along the road is safe. A guy who loves his family and felt sick when he lost his wedding ring while separated from his wife. And a hunter who gains pleasure from sticking a knife into a wild pig that he has tracked down on foot.

In bars there have been times when he has eyeballed South African rugby players, journalists and supporters. It's unlikely he felt frightened. On Sunday night in a Brisbane hotel he claims he was provoked by a man who became upset when Symonds did not want his photograph taken. This sort of thing happens regularly to athletes all over the world, and it must be incredibly tiring. The others usually find ways to deal with it.

Symonds, whose natural strength is supplemented by the gym, is not a man to provoke, on or off the field. This time it appears the patron was the unhappy one, not Symonds, which is a pleasing sign in another needless off-field incident.

"I appreciate how wild pigs feel when they get caught in a spotlight out in the paddocks," he says in his new book Roy on the Rise. "There aren't too many places to hide once you are in the crosshairs." He was talking about the controversy created from his exchange with Harbhajan Singh at the SCG in January, but it also applies to his public life.

A bunch of little things becomes magnified under scrutiny. For another cricketer this confrontation in a pub would barely register, but given Symonds' year it is a huge deal. Over the past 11 months he has been involved in a race row, has argued with Michael Clarke in the West Indies, has polarised team-mates, has been sent home from the one-day team, has admitted to drinking too much alcohol at times, has performed poorly on the field in his domestic comeback, and has returned to trouble as quickly as he was re-elevated to the Test team.

Any partying male in his early 20s knows that keeping away from bars is a good step towards staying out of strife. Symonds is 33 and unable to work out what is an appropriate safe haven. He was drinking with members of the Australian rugby league team in a venue that is known in Brisbane for its unruliness. It was a bit like catching up with your old street gang mates in the days after being granted parole, then being surprised when the situation became too hot.

As a younger player Symonds once felt he operated "without a road map". Now he needs to be given a satellite navigation system that deletes the pubs and nightclubs from the screen. There is no suggestion he was drunk on Sunday night, but if he wants to stay safe - and employed as an Australian cricketer - he needs more than the security minder who travels with the team. Unfortunately no amount of lifestyle advice seems to stay with him for long.

Since he came back into the side last week the players have said how great it is to have an unchanged Symonds around. Ricky Ponting told him he didn't need to be a model citizen, just himself. In the Gabba indoor nets he swore loudly at his batting mistakes, as sportsmen do - but he was yelling in front of a group of primary school children. Like the pub argument, it was not a good look.

Symonds has had more chances than the occupants of a cattery in peak season, and the speed and publicity of this incident is a disaster. Cricket Australia is investigating the clash, but Symonds will travel to Adelaide on Tuesday to join his team-mates in the lead-up to Friday's second Test. From when he turned up drunk to the Bangladesh game in Cardiff in 2005 he has been on a last warning. None of the alarms registers for long and the threats are forgotten. He is still in the side, but unless he undergoes a legitimate makeover it won't be for long.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • muffles on November 27, 2008, 4:26 GMT

    Freedom of the press is, rightly, one of the most important pillars of any truly democratic society. However, such freedom should depend on fairness, objectivity, and above all responsibility. That has not happened here.

  • frednork on November 26, 2008, 6:10 GMT

    i find it ausing how the press has created a storm in a teacup. Firstly is was reported he was in an altercation and if found guilty his contract would be terminated. The implication of the way everything was written was "lets hope he is guilty, but if he isnt, then lets make everyne think that he should be" then it looked like he wasnt the instigator so he was now deemed irresponsible for having a drink in a pub when his drinking is a problem. lets have a look at that "having a drink". the publican has come out saying he was drinking light beers. he was with friends - the fact that they were rugby players is irrelevant (unless all ruby players are thugs...) and he was in the not immediate company of other players from the team. wow - if that is irresponsible, then lets lock everyone up for beeing a lout! how many people here have missed something, work, family event or what not because they were either drunk, or hung over. get a grip!

  • Rooboy on November 25, 2008, 23:30 GMT

    I don't think that Roy has done anything wrong, on this occasion. In fact, it sounds like he was quite restrained because it's not easy for some people to walk away when a drunken idiot takes a swing at you. But common sense says, with Symond's record, he would probably be smart to avoid drinking in public for a while. To jamrith : Australia had various restrictive immigration policies from 1901 to 1973. To call this 'centuries of 'White Australia" policies' indicates that you are just another ignorant indian who will clutch at any straw to denigrate Australia. Racial tensions exist in india too so let's try to be realistic and stick to the subject.

  • lranatunga on November 25, 2008, 16:35 GMT

    Mr. English, I'm shocked at your choice of title for this article. Surely, you must be aware of the long history of using words such as 'savage' and 'simple' to demean and belittle people of colour (particularly indigenous)? Surely a professional journalist is sensitive to coded language that is even today used to perpetuate racist myths about the 'savage, fearsome native' who is for example, 'naturally unable to cope with the stresses of international stardom'.

    I would like to believe that you yourself are neither racist nor are swayed, even subconciously, by such stereotypes of people of colour . But I urge you to be much more careful with your choice of words. It is all too easy to perpetuate ugly myths and language is one of the primary vehicles used to do so. Overcoming centuries of tragic social conditioning requires care and vigilance, particularly by folks like you in the public sphere.

  • ChandrasekharVamaraju on November 25, 2008, 15:50 GMT

    "It was a bit like catching up with your old street gang mates in the days after being granted parole, then being surprised when the situation became too hot." -- Excellent expression, I liked it very much.

  • Clyde on November 25, 2008, 15:07 GMT

    As a newspaper and magazine editor, my first thought would be that what might have happened in a bar was not in the public interest. There is also a risk that a report might not be 100 per cent true or 100 per cent fair. I wouldn't touch it.

  • Magadi_Bhargav on November 25, 2008, 6:49 GMT

    First things First.Roy is not a particularly likable person. I strongly believe he courts controversies. Having said that, This incident has been blown out of proportion. I am actually amused at the OZ fans here. There used to be a time when these very fans would lap up every word spat out by the Aussie press particularly when they would describe in great and gleeful detail the agony of the opposing teams when faced with Aussie sledging and/ or what the world considers as unacceptable behaviour. Now the same Aussie press is being slammed. Hmmm... interesting

  • elsmallo on November 25, 2008, 5:41 GMT

    Andrew Symonds longs for the bush?! Now what exactly are you implying there? Seriously, he's interesting because of all these things. Sport needs its human dramas, even if they are being played out by sometimes less than agreeable characters. I don't like Harbajan, but I'd hate to see India without him. So many sportsmen, cricketers included, are so BORING, perhaps because professionalism drubs all the life out of them, perhaps because they were just boring in the first place. After all, what do they know of cricket, who only cricket know?

  • jamrith on November 25, 2008, 5:02 GMT

    I agree with Mahesh; I too am a hard-core Indian fan and did not appreciate Symonds' behaviour in India last year ( taunting Indian fans about their euphoric reaction tot the Indian team's T-20 win) and his provocation that led to the incident with Harbhajan. I think he has played the race card in self-serving fashion, and the Aussie media and fans have been quick to spring to his defence perhaps as a mea culpa for centuries of 'White Australia" policies. However, his recent indiscretions, such as going fishing and being accosted by an over-zealous fan in a bar are trifling, and certainly do not deserve any punishment. He is a great athlete though not the most affable or likeable of persons.

  • 12kris on November 25, 2008, 4:32 GMT

    "Live and let live" is an aphorism that is still acceptable in the civilized world. But "do unto others..." is not quite acceptable. If some people are trying to say that to be provoked, is an excuse for a street fight, I am sorry, they are not justified, at least by the tenets of "civilized behaviour" that is being dictated to us. By that token, the Harbhajans and the Gambhirs would not have done anything wrong.

  • muffles on November 27, 2008, 4:26 GMT

    Freedom of the press is, rightly, one of the most important pillars of any truly democratic society. However, such freedom should depend on fairness, objectivity, and above all responsibility. That has not happened here.

  • frednork on November 26, 2008, 6:10 GMT

    i find it ausing how the press has created a storm in a teacup. Firstly is was reported he was in an altercation and if found guilty his contract would be terminated. The implication of the way everything was written was "lets hope he is guilty, but if he isnt, then lets make everyne think that he should be" then it looked like he wasnt the instigator so he was now deemed irresponsible for having a drink in a pub when his drinking is a problem. lets have a look at that "having a drink". the publican has come out saying he was drinking light beers. he was with friends - the fact that they were rugby players is irrelevant (unless all ruby players are thugs...) and he was in the not immediate company of other players from the team. wow - if that is irresponsible, then lets lock everyone up for beeing a lout! how many people here have missed something, work, family event or what not because they were either drunk, or hung over. get a grip!

  • Rooboy on November 25, 2008, 23:30 GMT

    I don't think that Roy has done anything wrong, on this occasion. In fact, it sounds like he was quite restrained because it's not easy for some people to walk away when a drunken idiot takes a swing at you. But common sense says, with Symond's record, he would probably be smart to avoid drinking in public for a while. To jamrith : Australia had various restrictive immigration policies from 1901 to 1973. To call this 'centuries of 'White Australia" policies' indicates that you are just another ignorant indian who will clutch at any straw to denigrate Australia. Racial tensions exist in india too so let's try to be realistic and stick to the subject.

  • lranatunga on November 25, 2008, 16:35 GMT

    Mr. English, I'm shocked at your choice of title for this article. Surely, you must be aware of the long history of using words such as 'savage' and 'simple' to demean and belittle people of colour (particularly indigenous)? Surely a professional journalist is sensitive to coded language that is even today used to perpetuate racist myths about the 'savage, fearsome native' who is for example, 'naturally unable to cope with the stresses of international stardom'.

    I would like to believe that you yourself are neither racist nor are swayed, even subconciously, by such stereotypes of people of colour . But I urge you to be much more careful with your choice of words. It is all too easy to perpetuate ugly myths and language is one of the primary vehicles used to do so. Overcoming centuries of tragic social conditioning requires care and vigilance, particularly by folks like you in the public sphere.

  • ChandrasekharVamaraju on November 25, 2008, 15:50 GMT

    "It was a bit like catching up with your old street gang mates in the days after being granted parole, then being surprised when the situation became too hot." -- Excellent expression, I liked it very much.

  • Clyde on November 25, 2008, 15:07 GMT

    As a newspaper and magazine editor, my first thought would be that what might have happened in a bar was not in the public interest. There is also a risk that a report might not be 100 per cent true or 100 per cent fair. I wouldn't touch it.

  • Magadi_Bhargav on November 25, 2008, 6:49 GMT

    First things First.Roy is not a particularly likable person. I strongly believe he courts controversies. Having said that, This incident has been blown out of proportion. I am actually amused at the OZ fans here. There used to be a time when these very fans would lap up every word spat out by the Aussie press particularly when they would describe in great and gleeful detail the agony of the opposing teams when faced with Aussie sledging and/ or what the world considers as unacceptable behaviour. Now the same Aussie press is being slammed. Hmmm... interesting

  • elsmallo on November 25, 2008, 5:41 GMT

    Andrew Symonds longs for the bush?! Now what exactly are you implying there? Seriously, he's interesting because of all these things. Sport needs its human dramas, even if they are being played out by sometimes less than agreeable characters. I don't like Harbajan, but I'd hate to see India without him. So many sportsmen, cricketers included, are so BORING, perhaps because professionalism drubs all the life out of them, perhaps because they were just boring in the first place. After all, what do they know of cricket, who only cricket know?

  • jamrith on November 25, 2008, 5:02 GMT

    I agree with Mahesh; I too am a hard-core Indian fan and did not appreciate Symonds' behaviour in India last year ( taunting Indian fans about their euphoric reaction tot the Indian team's T-20 win) and his provocation that led to the incident with Harbhajan. I think he has played the race card in self-serving fashion, and the Aussie media and fans have been quick to spring to his defence perhaps as a mea culpa for centuries of 'White Australia" policies. However, his recent indiscretions, such as going fishing and being accosted by an over-zealous fan in a bar are trifling, and certainly do not deserve any punishment. He is a great athlete though not the most affable or likeable of persons.

  • 12kris on November 25, 2008, 4:32 GMT

    "Live and let live" is an aphorism that is still acceptable in the civilized world. But "do unto others..." is not quite acceptable. If some people are trying to say that to be provoked, is an excuse for a street fight, I am sorry, they are not justified, at least by the tenets of "civilized behaviour" that is being dictated to us. By that token, the Harbhajans and the Gambhirs would not have done anything wrong.

  • muffles on November 25, 2008, 3:59 GMT

    Reading Mr English's article, I am reminded of my father's belief that "if you fail at your kindy blocks once, you're a born politician. If you fail twice, you're a born sports journalist." My other comment is, thank God Keith Miller, Doug Walters and a host of other greats I can think of are not playing today!

  • inthebag on November 25, 2008, 2:00 GMT

    I too am curious about your use of the word "savage". You call on him to show some restraint and stay away from bars in case some drunken idiot takes a swipe at him. Surely you too could look at recent history before considering your actions. He was racially vilified and then abandoned by his employers. You translate this as an involvement in a race row and then decide to make implications about his savagery. Let he that has not sinned cast the first stone.

  • Kamakshi on November 25, 2008, 1:35 GMT

    I think this is all a bit of a storm in a teacup. Journalists are trying to amplify every move by Symonds unreasonably. That is a consequence of irresponsible behaviour that Symonds has to accept, especially in such a professional set-up. Once you mess up, you're warned, twice and your every move is scrutinised, highlighted and usually commented upon negatively. He's just gotta learn to deal with it better without feeling victimised which is how he comes across. Look no further than Nadal, Phelps, Woods, Tendulkar, Federer etc to see how they've coped with intense public following, pressure, scrutiny and the like and they've managed admirably. Get over yourself Symo, its not like your the first or only sportsperson to have to sacrifice fishing/hunting/drinking and besides; I don't think he's exactly SUCH an established great yet to be almost above the rules; almost in the Shane Warne mould except Symo seems a lot more cavalier which is saying something.

  • Macree on November 25, 2008, 1:09 GMT

    It is articles like this that prove to me some of the press have completely lost it. He IS not guilty of doing anything wrong. He did NOT pick a fight or hit anyone. Andrew was even home at 9.30pm. So with the implications in this article should be withdrawn immediately.

  • eyballfallenout on November 25, 2008, 0:45 GMT

    Why should he conform to your liking, he just wants to play cricket and go fishing... Leave him alone and stop writing about it. All of you are all too ready to judge people , i bet you are not the little angels you think he should be. You put too much pressure and ask way too much of people, Robuck especially just sits around and criticizes everybody, the man is a fool.Andrew does not need to be part of Australia's leadership group, just let him turn up and play cricket. That is all its about, playing and watching cricket. LEAVE ROY ALONE!!!!!!!!!

  • angrybeaver on November 25, 2008, 0:34 GMT

    This guy is the absolute limit. What a meathead!!!!

  • sowright on November 25, 2008, 0:23 GMT

    Re "Savage grace" Are you implying Symonds is a savage? Maybe it's time you lifted your journalism game. Are you also saying it was ok for all the other high profile sportsman to be at the Normanby, but not ok for Symonds.

  • mk49_van on November 25, 2008, 0:16 GMT

    Finally an Aussie willing to beyond the usual "boys will be boys". For too long Oz cricketers have been allowed to get away with poor behavior. "Hard but Fair" we were told. Then McGrath, Gilly and Warne left the team. And the Indians began to play hard. The Aussies no longer win so easily, and the right team can even beat the pants off them. It is harder now to hide under convenient slogans - losers do not have that option. The "boys" are now being judged like the men they always were supposed to be; they may also have to actually play fair.

  • jigar303 on November 24, 2008, 23:58 GMT

    When Harbhajan slapped Srisanth, there was "I told you so" feeling about him. Now this incident has Symond's involvement.

    Investigations are still underway, so it"ll be premature to comment.

    Though its true that like sharp catches, controversies also stick.

    I hope that we"ll soon get to see Symonds play because he is a damn good player.

  • QUDSI on November 24, 2008, 22:36 GMT

    Symo is a very competitive cricketer but his personal life or may be some of the attitude problems are keeping him away from doing what he does best.to be honest and clear, Cricket Australia is going from lots of ups and down. The retirement of warne Mcgrath,Gilli, ban on symonds, fingers on Punters captaincy, out of form Hayden and his retirement, this team is full of superstars but i think they have lost the classic touch, the touch that a Champion always has.

  • adamtwittey on November 24, 2008, 21:58 GMT

    We expect too much from our sportspeople these days. They are and should be just that; sportspeople. When you compare Roy's scandals with the Aussie cricket team of the 80s, they look tame.

    How would it be accepted by the public today if a sportsteam set out to break David Boon's beer drinking records? What about if Brett Lee tongue-kissed Ricky Ponting in the ear on the field?

    The crux of the problem is suggested that because sportspeople are huge role models for kids, their public and professional behaviour should be spot on. However, someone needs to show the kids what behaviour is unacceptable, as well as acceptable.

    They are human, after all.

  • Mahesh_AV on November 24, 2008, 21:58 GMT

    Of all the "controversies" Roy has been in, I would totally discount this one. Come on, for all you know, there might have been a drunk at that bar who probably thought of himself to be Brad Pitt!!!! And that drunk was possibly foul mouthed when Roy refused a photograph. Just because Roy was involved in some controversies earlier, does not mean he starts every fight. Give the man his space and stop dragging him out on the street everytime someone irritates him. For a hard core India fan like me to say this of a man who accused an Indian player of being racist, it sure takes some stupidity on the part of the media to glorify this small incident.

  • crack_info on November 24, 2008, 21:14 GMT

    Good article. The problem with Symonds is that the guy doesn't realize the responsibility that comes with fame. On-field crazy-behavior gets topped up with unruly, boorish off-field behavior. The man has received enough raps on his knuckles - obviously to no effect. Does Cricket need him at all? I think not.

  • Winfried on November 24, 2008, 21:07 GMT

    English, take your middle-aged, hoity-toity, holier than thou attitude elsewhere. Sportspersons didn't apply to Mother Teresa's position, and shouldn't have to live up to her standards. Let Symmo be Symmo. And be thankful to him - thanks to him you have a job.

    - An Indian fan

  • Stevo_ on November 24, 2008, 20:59 GMT

    Get off your high horse Peter

  • TheEnticer on November 24, 2008, 20:39 GMT

    Ohh please why is everyone here acting so surprised.. Remember what Hansen found and wrote in his judgement? He found that Symonds had instigated a fight with Harbhajan because Harbhajan had complimented Symonds teammate and Symonds thought that 'a cricket ground is no place for showing camaraderie'. What can we expected from this person? It is only because of CA's deft media manipulation skills and cricinfo like websites that sydney incident is always reported as '... and harbhajan escaped without a ban on appeal...' This bullying is symptomatic of his team's behavior.

  • Rajesh. on November 24, 2008, 19:49 GMT

    When you are an extrovert like Andrew Symoonds anything you do gets exagerrated.... be it good or bad. So he has got to live with this publicity......

  • Nampally on November 24, 2008, 19:34 GMT

    If only Symmonds kept his calm he would have been ranked amongst the "greats". His biggest problem is getting into trouble which could be easily avoided with a little bit of diplomacy and tact. From your description it appears that he has typical signs of "Bipolar" syndrome. When he is the only person of different colour in the team, there is a certain amount of self conscience behaviour. However he seems to be well liked and supported by Ponting and all Australian Cricketers. With so much support he should not feel inferior to anyone based on his race. He appears to be too sensitive to any thing that happens around him. Muralitharan was subject to all racial slurs by the Aussies including being called "black monkey". Yet today he is the highest wicket taker in the world. He became "Great" by rising above the petty things like cream rising above milk. My advise to Symmonds is be like Murali and walk the walk by exploiting his superb cricketing skills. Even Harbhajan will like this.

  • TheOzGov on November 24, 2008, 19:29 GMT

    Enough already!! Leave Symo alone! I agree that maybe Symonds should think twice about putting himself in harms way in a very public place (not that there are many people who could cause him physical harm), but Australia is also a free country and he should be allowed to catch up with friends for a beer. I hope this official from the Army is dealt with harshly.Get off Symos back! He now needs our support, as he didn't get it from gutless cricket Australia when he was racially abused in India AND at home in Australia. This is one of the biggest disgraces in Australian sporting history and it is disgusting how Cricket Australia has publicy tried to pin the whole situation on Symonds and his 'problems'.

  • Cricdish on November 24, 2008, 19:02 GMT

    "Symonds, whose natural strength is supplemented by the gym, is not a man to provoke, on or off the field."

    Somehow, it was fairly apparent after the Justice Hansen inquiry when Harbhajan was accused of a racist comment, that Symonds was the provocateur.

    I wonder if Peter's been hiding under a rock since last December.

  • casley on November 24, 2008, 18:56 GMT

    Pull your head in English. He doesn't need you stoking the fire. Leave the bloke alone.

  • 9aussiecricfan9 on November 24, 2008, 18:28 GMT

    How daft can one be!! Here is a bloke who said he drank too much in his last few months and was undergoing treatment for it. Back in the test team, a win and four days later what does Mr Daft do, he goes drinking ofcourse!

    Frankly in any organisation, a bloke like him would have long been dispensed off. How much spine does Cricket Australia have?

  • Indianmaster on November 24, 2008, 18:23 GMT

    I totally agree with Bingoaley, Please Media, stop spoiling someone's career. He is trying to come back to normal life and on right path. I would ask Media reporter who reported this, if he were in a situation, what he/she would have done? If I want privacy, please let me have it. He likes to hang out so what, Please le him go on with life.

  • OzLee on November 24, 2008, 17:59 GMT

    Many around the world cannot take the success achieved by the Australian cricket team (inckuding dvd1986). No body yet knows what happened and the Indian media has headlines 'Symonds in brawl again'. Very disgusting! He is a hard working soft guy. What happened when he was racially abused? Everyone has a man in him. All who talk about people need to KNOW them first.

  • Divinetouch on November 24, 2008, 17:53 GMT

    Roy will be best person to know where he is and what he hopes to achieve in life.

    On another subject 'Ponting fined again for slow over rate.'

    Before I comment can Cricinfo refersh my memory as to the circumsatnace(s)under which Sourav Ganguly received a ban for a similar offence while he was captain of India and who was the refere that imposed the ban.

  • tomorrowneverdies on November 24, 2008, 17:52 GMT

    I don't know what is the big issue here. I am not from Australia but India. I am also not a Symonds fan, but can't stop feeling sad at the treatment given to him. Ok, he turned up drunk in Darvin, and also missed a team meetings. These are bad things but the only once he has done. And he has got punished for that. The row over the Harbhajan incident was not about racism actually. And I fail to understand why Symmo has to be under investigation for having a bar brawl. It is his personal life. Let him have some privacy and freedom in his personal life.

  • LittleInzi on November 24, 2008, 17:36 GMT

    Let the investigation take its place and see the outcome. Don't judge him too early. I have seen worse. Shoaib Akhtar anyone??!!

  • shannonr on November 24, 2008, 17:21 GMT

    Symonds is a great cricketer exactly because he is capable of both patience AND aggression. Any team in the world would be happy to have him. And, let's face it, without Symonds, who would spark all these overwrought columns about "won't someone please think of the children!" A "makeover"?! Please! Then who would you write about?! It's false outrage about an utterly false picture of a great competitor. And for extra amusement, it all appears to be built on top of yet another utterly overblown "incident". I think Symonds understands very well the "realities of being a high-profile sportsman". Here's one "reality" of being a high-profile cricket writer you may not have counted on: if you write cobblers, you'll get called on it.

  • CricKraze on November 24, 2008, 17:17 GMT

    I'm really confused whether he really needs the game, or the game needs him! The description suits an insane - "He can be pleasant, sincere and hilarious, or sarcastic, cruel and intolerant."

  • dvd1986 on November 24, 2008, 17:06 GMT

    Great article, Symonds has had a few 'last chances' and gets a nice ride through life. Aussie behaviour both on and off field is disgusting and no matter how many matches they win, their bad behaviour will always be in the forefront.

  • bingohaley on November 24, 2008, 16:21 GMT

    Awww give the man a break!

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  • bingohaley on November 24, 2008, 16:21 GMT

    Awww give the man a break!

  • dvd1986 on November 24, 2008, 17:06 GMT

    Great article, Symonds has had a few 'last chances' and gets a nice ride through life. Aussie behaviour both on and off field is disgusting and no matter how many matches they win, their bad behaviour will always be in the forefront.

  • CricKraze on November 24, 2008, 17:17 GMT

    I'm really confused whether he really needs the game, or the game needs him! The description suits an insane - "He can be pleasant, sincere and hilarious, or sarcastic, cruel and intolerant."

  • shannonr on November 24, 2008, 17:21 GMT

    Symonds is a great cricketer exactly because he is capable of both patience AND aggression. Any team in the world would be happy to have him. And, let's face it, without Symonds, who would spark all these overwrought columns about "won't someone please think of the children!" A "makeover"?! Please! Then who would you write about?! It's false outrage about an utterly false picture of a great competitor. And for extra amusement, it all appears to be built on top of yet another utterly overblown "incident". I think Symonds understands very well the "realities of being a high-profile sportsman". Here's one "reality" of being a high-profile cricket writer you may not have counted on: if you write cobblers, you'll get called on it.

  • LittleInzi on November 24, 2008, 17:36 GMT

    Let the investigation take its place and see the outcome. Don't judge him too early. I have seen worse. Shoaib Akhtar anyone??!!

  • tomorrowneverdies on November 24, 2008, 17:52 GMT

    I don't know what is the big issue here. I am not from Australia but India. I am also not a Symonds fan, but can't stop feeling sad at the treatment given to him. Ok, he turned up drunk in Darvin, and also missed a team meetings. These are bad things but the only once he has done. And he has got punished for that. The row over the Harbhajan incident was not about racism actually. And I fail to understand why Symmo has to be under investigation for having a bar brawl. It is his personal life. Let him have some privacy and freedom in his personal life.

  • Divinetouch on November 24, 2008, 17:53 GMT

    Roy will be best person to know where he is and what he hopes to achieve in life.

    On another subject 'Ponting fined again for slow over rate.'

    Before I comment can Cricinfo refersh my memory as to the circumsatnace(s)under which Sourav Ganguly received a ban for a similar offence while he was captain of India and who was the refere that imposed the ban.

  • OzLee on November 24, 2008, 17:59 GMT

    Many around the world cannot take the success achieved by the Australian cricket team (inckuding dvd1986). No body yet knows what happened and the Indian media has headlines 'Symonds in brawl again'. Very disgusting! He is a hard working soft guy. What happened when he was racially abused? Everyone has a man in him. All who talk about people need to KNOW them first.

  • Indianmaster on November 24, 2008, 18:23 GMT

    I totally agree with Bingoaley, Please Media, stop spoiling someone's career. He is trying to come back to normal life and on right path. I would ask Media reporter who reported this, if he were in a situation, what he/she would have done? If I want privacy, please let me have it. He likes to hang out so what, Please le him go on with life.

  • 9aussiecricfan9 on November 24, 2008, 18:28 GMT

    How daft can one be!! Here is a bloke who said he drank too much in his last few months and was undergoing treatment for it. Back in the test team, a win and four days later what does Mr Daft do, he goes drinking ofcourse!

    Frankly in any organisation, a bloke like him would have long been dispensed off. How much spine does Cricket Australia have?