Team management says nightclub incident not serious March 27, 2006

Australia play down Symonds-Smith row

Cricinfo staff

Bust ups: Andrew Symonds has a split lip from the second Test and was reportedly involved in an off-field argument with Graeme Smith © Getty Images

Australia's allrounder Andrew Symonds was reportedly asked to leave a Cape Town nightclub last week after a row with South African captain Graeme Smith.

Media reports have emerged in South Africa over the weekend claiming that Symonds was involved in an argument with Smith on the Saturday after the Newlands Test. Smith was socialising with the former Springbok rugby props Ollie Le Roux and Os Du Randt when Symonds became involved. After a complaint, he was asked to leave by the club's management.

The Australian management looked to play down the incident, denying that Symonds was asked to leave and claiming he walked out "voluntarily". The story was run on the front page of the Afrikaans newspaper Rapport under the headline "Leave our Captain Alone".

A Cricket Australia spokesman said that as the management felt Symonds left of his own accord, there was no question of any disciplinary action being taken.

Symonds was in trouble during the 2005 Ashes. He was fined his match fee after he was found to have breached team rules by drinking and staying out late on the eve of a game against Bangladesh in the NatWest triangular series. At the toss, Ricky Ponting said Symonds had the flu, but by the close of the Australian innings it emerged that he had been omitted for disciplinary reasons. Symonds was to subsequently rule himself out of contention for the Allan Border Medal because of this incident, though he polled more votes than any other player.