Money and lack of freedom the reasons October 31, 2006

Symcox quits the commentary box

Cricinfo staff

Pat Symcox: 'You've got to be prepared sometimes to call a spade a shovel - and SuperSport don't fit into that category' © TWC (SA)
Pat Symcox, the former South Africa offspinner, has announced he will quit as a TV commentator after the South Africa-India series at the end of the year.

Symcox told The Wisden Cricketer (South Africa) that pay and the inability to be allowed to speak his mind were the major reasons for his decision.

"I spent 138 days being involved in cricket last year," he explained. "And if you're doing that, you really can't do justice to anything else. And if you're going to spend that amount of time working, then you've got to be paid accordingly ... and unfortunately SuperSport don't. And coupled to that, there are issues which need to be talked about in South African cricket, and you've got to be prepared sometimes to call a spade a shovel - and again SuperSport don't fit into that category at the moment. So it was time for me to move on."

Symcox will devote his time to his own estate agency which sells property along the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, and his collection of over 2000 cricket books.

And will he miss the game? "My family is one of 10 South African families who've played first-class cricket over three generations," he said. "So cricket runs deep with us ... but like I say, it's time to move on now.

"I've left SuperSport. I will be working for ESPN on India's tour of South Africa later this year, but viewers in South Africa won't hear me, unfortunately. And after that, I won't be involved in cricket any more. That's it from me."