Masters Champions League February 2, 2016

Symonds mulls over a T20 comeback


Andrew Symonds is considering coming out of retirement to play a limited amount of T20 cricket.

Symonds, who retired in February 2012 citing family reasons, has so enjoyed his experience of playing in the Masters Champions League - he is representing Capricorn Commanders in the tournament for players who have retired from international cricket - that he is mulling over offers to play more mainstream tournaments in the coming months.

And, even if Symonds, now 40, ultimately decides against a playing comeback, he believes he could contribute to the game in a coaching role.

He did some consulting work with the Australian Twenty20 team in South Africa in the lead-up to the World T20 in 2014 and has also had a loose advisory role with Brisbane Heat in BBL.

"People have asked me: 'would you consider starting up again?'" Symonds told ESPNcricinfo. "It's something I've definitely got to consider.

"I suppose I'm in a situation where I could go back, try and get really fit and engage again. Or just be happy doing what I'm doing. That's something I've got to work out in the next six months or so.

"I'm enjoying playing. It's physically demanding, but I'm enjoying the challenge again. I'm enjoying the adrenalin and the nerves again. It's not too bad at all. I am enjoying it."

For all his success - and Symonds played in World Cup-winning sides, set world records and finished with a Test batting average in excess of 40 - there is a sense that his was a talent not entirely fulfilled.

A series of disciplinary misdemeanours saw his international career end prematurely when he was sent home ahead of the 2009 World T20, aged 33, but he believes his experience - particularly his experience in limited-overs cricket and playing in Asian conditions - could prove beneficial to another generation of players.

Flashback to Andrew Symonds' last IPL season for Mumbai Indians in 2011 © Associated Press

"There's a lot of 'could haves' with me," Symonds admitted. "I'm probably a bit too old now to play really seriously. I've a good life. I've had a good life through cricket. I'm not unhappy. Life is really good. I've a young family now. It's probably the greatest thing we've ever done.

"But I'm also considering maybe going into the coaching side of things now. I wouldn't want to burden anyone with my presence for too long, but a bit of consultancy work would be good. Going in for a couple of weeks and then leaving them alone: match awareness; how to finish games; setting totals; tactics against certain types of bowling or on certain surfaces.

"I ended up playing a lot of cricket in the sub-continent and a lot of teams struggle when they go there. If I can pass on my experience, that may be helpful for them.

"I've probably a few decisions to make in the next little bit."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Simon on February 9, 2016, 8:10 GMT

    I bet he's still in pretty good shape, so I'm sure he'd have no worries on the T20 circuit as there are a lot of other blokes his age playing as well. Remember meeting him at the Gabba when he was just 20; he took the time to have a genuinely friendly chat with me even though I was just a 15 year old autograph hunter, and that's always stuck with me. I'd have him in my side over plenty of recently-retired Australian cricketers. I'd love to see him end his career on a happy note after being so disgracefully treated in the aftermath of the Sydney Test.

  • Kell on February 9, 2016, 6:52 GMT

    Hope he makes a great comeback and kicks some. My fav cricketer of the past 25 yrs. BTW Cricket Australia owe him big time.

  • Adhitya on February 9, 2016, 5:54 GMT

    Come back, Roy! There are very few better sights in cricket than watching you!!

  • Sam on February 9, 2016, 4:48 GMT

    Hope to see Symonds in next BBL

  • carl on February 9, 2016, 2:37 GMT

    We all know Symonds was telling the truth, those that lied will always be haunted by it.

  • Craig on February 9, 2016, 2:33 GMT

    I would love to watch you go around in the BBL Roy.

  • Merv on February 9, 2016, 1:24 GMT

    One of the strongest and most honest men ever to walk on to a cricket field. he was done over by cricket authorities and players who didn't tell the whole truth at times. Something that Symonds was incapable of doing.

  • Bob on February 9, 2016, 0:01 GMT

    Do it Roy, I'd love to see you play're an absolute legend!

  • Tom on February 8, 2016, 23:59 GMT

    Watching retired players playing in a T20 is like watching John McEnroe Playing Borg in 2016 and even that is more entertaining.

  • Steve on February 8, 2016, 20:03 GMT

    It would be an exciting prospect to see a more mature, rejuvenated Symonds smacking the cricket ball to all parts of the field. However, I hope he would make a judicious call as he has been out of action for so many years from competitive cricket. As I remember, he had a lean IPL in his last year there.

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