ICC World Twenty20 June 4, 2009

Team-mates rue loss of 'flexible' Symonds

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Andrew Symonds is believed to be contemplating retirement after being ordered home from the ICC World Twenty20 for an "alcohol-related incident" that has thrown Australia's tournament plans into disarray.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland announced Symonds' contract was under review, but Cricinfo understands the allrounder may jump before he is pushed. The developments come after the Australian team's leadership group - consisting of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Tim Nielsen and Steve Bernard - recommended to Cricket Australia's board that Symonds be withdrawn from the World Twenty20 for drinking while watching the State of Origin rugby league match on Wednesday morning.

While not a serious offence in isolation, Symonds' alcohol consumption contravened the conditions of a personal contract struck with Cricket Australia following a string of behavioural infractions. It is understood the terms of the contract have left Symonds feeling restricted and, according to one confidante, "no longer knowing how he can fit into the Australian team".

Ponting, speaking at a hastily convened press conference at The Oval, said Symonds had let down his employers, his teammates and himself.

"There's no doubting Andrew's capabilities as a player, but there are other things happening around him that made the decision we've come to a relatively easy one," Ponting said. "This is not wholly and solely about Andrew Symonds. This is about the Australian cricket team. We've got some young guys who are just finding out what international cricket is all about. This is about the bigger picture and bringing on the next generation of Australian players."

Though Symonds is not disputing the decision to withdraw him from the World Twenty20, he is apparently keen to tell his side of the story, and is expected to wait until he lands in Australia before speaking.

Various reports have suggested Symonds' drinking became problematic during Australia's recent limited-overs tour of the UAE, and again after the Twenty20 warm-up match against New Zealand on Tuesday. But it was the "several beers" imbibed in the company of several team-mates while watching the State of Origin that is believed to have prompted Australia's leadership group to act, and push Symonds' career to the brink.

Symonds attended a PCA dinner with the Australian Twenty20 squad at a Kensington hotel on Wednesday night, but was a notable absentee at Australia's training session at The Oval on Thursday. He was due to return to Australia on Thursday night, and a source close to the player told Cricinfo a retirement announcement could be imminent.

"He is feeling like a square peg in a round hole," the source said. "It got to a stage where he had to make these commitments if he wanted to be selected for Australia. He knows he has put himself in this position, but there is no doubt he is struggling with it."

Following a series of misdemeanours in the past 12 months, Symonds was on a final warning from Cricket Australia. Senior figures within CA pushed for his contract to be torn up after the "gone fishing" incident in Darwin last year, and Sutherland yesterday told reporters in Melbourne the allrounder's contract was "under review".

"Tonight we have also advised him that we will take the [contract] offer off the table at this stage," Sutherland said. "In isolation, the breaches that I am talking about are not serious, but in the scheme of things, in the scheme of history, they are enough for it to be the final straw. I'm disappointed in Andrew, but I'm also disappointed for Andrew. I'm sad about it."

Symonds has been involved in numerous off-field incidents in recent seasons, most notably a pre-match drinking session in Cardiff in 2005 which led to him being stood down from Australia's limited-overs team barely an hour before a match against Bangladesh. He also missed a team meeting to go fishing during a one-day series against Bangladesh in Darwin last year, which prompted team management to send him home and CA to arrange psychological counselling.

An altercation with Clarke on last year's tour of the West Indies further frayed tensions between Symonds and the team management, and a drunken radio interview in January - in which he referred to the New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum as "a piece of s..." - resulted in him receiving a fine and further disciplinary action. Symonds apologised, having admitted that alcohol was a problematic influence in his life, and he subsequently stated that he was "entering the final chapter of his career".

Despite retaining his central contract only last month, Symonds was omitted from Australia's Ashes squad in favour of Andrew McDonald and Shane Watson. After 26 Tests and 198 ODIs dating back to November 1998, it is hard to see how his career can possibly recover from this latest episode.

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo. Inputs from Andrew Miller and Peter English

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alexk400 on June 6, 2009, 1:48 GMT

    i really think this is the war between pup clarke (future captain) vs symmonds.

  • Nawabofhyderabad on June 5, 2009, 16:31 GMT

    It was insipid and lack of charcter from cricket australia to have done something like this. We always knew the selfish ricky, pup and others in team. That is one reason why Matt hayden and Gilly have resigned. It was a total setup by these so called friends. Symmo should have known better to trust in these lame guys. What a bunch of losers. You can beer in the dressing room but not at a ball game? You can have a beer with friends, and that exactly waht symmo had done. I dont blame him. He has stood by his character and he came out with some match winning performances in IPL. That is what counts, not having beer and losing ashes does not bring cricket australia any fame. they should sack tim nielsen for thos atrocious behavior and controversial handling of Symmo. Gilly gave him a test of character, he also worked with Gibbs. When he himself vouched for these guys, you know what Im sayin? It was a setup. Ricky and Pup and Tim Nielsen did it.

  • squidhead on June 5, 2009, 15:00 GMT

    Anyone who looks into it properly can see that Symonds has been gradually pushed out of the team because he fails to present the image his employers want to project. If you look over his history there's very little - Cardiff excluded - that warrants the treatment he's recieved. It's happened before in Australian cricket and will no doubt happen again. I'm not sure if I'm completely changing the subject though when I ask what Brad Hodge has to do to make the team. I don't like the guy - his feeling of entitlement grates on me - but surely he's the man to call right now. Maybe if he dyed his hair blonde like Clarke or Cam White?

  • Edmond on June 5, 2009, 14:05 GMT

    The reason why the Ozzies were world beaters for years was simply because they were a TEAM & supported each other thru thick & thin, they stood by each other with conviction - I am afraid to say that is not the case anymore. Why would his so called mates sit next to him and watch him drink a beer or two - knowing full well that it would get him in trouble - mates don't let friends drink & drive! so why didn't his mates stop him??? It is simple the current crop of Ozzie cricketers are not team players!

    Symonds doesn't fit into their so-called clean cut image and has been pushed to the brink with them knowing all too well that he will fail! There are many way to support someone - but to set him up & crucify him in public is simply not cricket.

  • Paris_in_the_snow on June 5, 2009, 12:23 GMT

    If anyone who knows him reads this please pass this message on - SYMONDS WOULD BE WELCOLMED IN THE WEST INDIES!!

    Ideal fit - no joke. He is a lot less disciplined than Nash but much more talented.

    I have heard off some WI greats 'having a few' before some of their best innings - performance is what matters.

    If he stays in Austalia, he has to play by Auzzie rules. I can only dream of what he would do for WI cricket and the level of interest in the game there.

  • codswallop on June 5, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    What sort of guys do the Australian team have..trying to choke players like school kids..once he missed team bus they gave him a dressing ,and it seems this doesn't happen to everyone,things are only meant to happen to him as it seems

  • CricDubai on June 5, 2009, 8:36 GMT

    Andrew Symonds is one of the finest all rounders the game has seen. A fine utility cricketer. I guess, everyone has a unique personality, and Andrew sure liked his privacy, his friends and his sports. Nothing wrong there. By being a celebrity, however, changes the equation, the needs of the hour, being in public, demands the individual to compose himself, smile and mingle, when you're tired and in need of a drink. This is where Andrew went wrong, and he wanted to go back to his comfort zone, which by now, was far too exposed, with constant media publicity, and everything he did, was highlighted in a negative way. I personally, like a lot of overseas Indians, loved watching Andrew Symonds play, and would hope he comes back stronger.

  • Number_5 on June 5, 2009, 7:24 GMT

    Roy has not been the same player since CA did nothing about him being racially villified. This is no excuse for his behaviour, but there is no doubt CA 'ssoft hearted handling of this issue would have contributed to his current state of mind.

    Thanks for the memories Roy and all the best for the future.

  • Snowbro on June 5, 2009, 7:01 GMT

    Who Cares, Thats the problem with sport Teams now days, the poor guys cant even have a beer after a game together anymore, thank goodness for the IPL uniting players Symonds and Gibbs Should get together and start a drinking league

  • fatterfunk on June 5, 2009, 6:23 GMT

    Does anyone get the irony and hypocrisy implicit in Cricket Australia disciplining a player for drinking while making millions of dollars from advertising and promoting beer drinking? Every child who watches the cricket gets the message on TV that the Australian team supports beer drinking. I suppose Ricky Ponting will tell us about poor old Andrew Symonds letting the team down whilst wearing a VB cap at the same time. Cricket Australia is part funded by beer drinking. Andrew Symonds should be their pin-up boy!

  • Alexk400 on June 6, 2009, 1:48 GMT

    i really think this is the war between pup clarke (future captain) vs symmonds.

  • Nawabofhyderabad on June 5, 2009, 16:31 GMT

    It was insipid and lack of charcter from cricket australia to have done something like this. We always knew the selfish ricky, pup and others in team. That is one reason why Matt hayden and Gilly have resigned. It was a total setup by these so called friends. Symmo should have known better to trust in these lame guys. What a bunch of losers. You can beer in the dressing room but not at a ball game? You can have a beer with friends, and that exactly waht symmo had done. I dont blame him. He has stood by his character and he came out with some match winning performances in IPL. That is what counts, not having beer and losing ashes does not bring cricket australia any fame. they should sack tim nielsen for thos atrocious behavior and controversial handling of Symmo. Gilly gave him a test of character, he also worked with Gibbs. When he himself vouched for these guys, you know what Im sayin? It was a setup. Ricky and Pup and Tim Nielsen did it.

  • squidhead on June 5, 2009, 15:00 GMT

    Anyone who looks into it properly can see that Symonds has been gradually pushed out of the team because he fails to present the image his employers want to project. If you look over his history there's very little - Cardiff excluded - that warrants the treatment he's recieved. It's happened before in Australian cricket and will no doubt happen again. I'm not sure if I'm completely changing the subject though when I ask what Brad Hodge has to do to make the team. I don't like the guy - his feeling of entitlement grates on me - but surely he's the man to call right now. Maybe if he dyed his hair blonde like Clarke or Cam White?

  • Edmond on June 5, 2009, 14:05 GMT

    The reason why the Ozzies were world beaters for years was simply because they were a TEAM & supported each other thru thick & thin, they stood by each other with conviction - I am afraid to say that is not the case anymore. Why would his so called mates sit next to him and watch him drink a beer or two - knowing full well that it would get him in trouble - mates don't let friends drink & drive! so why didn't his mates stop him??? It is simple the current crop of Ozzie cricketers are not team players!

    Symonds doesn't fit into their so-called clean cut image and has been pushed to the brink with them knowing all too well that he will fail! There are many way to support someone - but to set him up & crucify him in public is simply not cricket.

  • Paris_in_the_snow on June 5, 2009, 12:23 GMT

    If anyone who knows him reads this please pass this message on - SYMONDS WOULD BE WELCOLMED IN THE WEST INDIES!!

    Ideal fit - no joke. He is a lot less disciplined than Nash but much more talented.

    I have heard off some WI greats 'having a few' before some of their best innings - performance is what matters.

    If he stays in Austalia, he has to play by Auzzie rules. I can only dream of what he would do for WI cricket and the level of interest in the game there.

  • codswallop on June 5, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    What sort of guys do the Australian team have..trying to choke players like school kids..once he missed team bus they gave him a dressing ,and it seems this doesn't happen to everyone,things are only meant to happen to him as it seems

  • CricDubai on June 5, 2009, 8:36 GMT

    Andrew Symonds is one of the finest all rounders the game has seen. A fine utility cricketer. I guess, everyone has a unique personality, and Andrew sure liked his privacy, his friends and his sports. Nothing wrong there. By being a celebrity, however, changes the equation, the needs of the hour, being in public, demands the individual to compose himself, smile and mingle, when you're tired and in need of a drink. This is where Andrew went wrong, and he wanted to go back to his comfort zone, which by now, was far too exposed, with constant media publicity, and everything he did, was highlighted in a negative way. I personally, like a lot of overseas Indians, loved watching Andrew Symonds play, and would hope he comes back stronger.

  • Number_5 on June 5, 2009, 7:24 GMT

    Roy has not been the same player since CA did nothing about him being racially villified. This is no excuse for his behaviour, but there is no doubt CA 'ssoft hearted handling of this issue would have contributed to his current state of mind.

    Thanks for the memories Roy and all the best for the future.

  • Snowbro on June 5, 2009, 7:01 GMT

    Who Cares, Thats the problem with sport Teams now days, the poor guys cant even have a beer after a game together anymore, thank goodness for the IPL uniting players Symonds and Gibbs Should get together and start a drinking league

  • fatterfunk on June 5, 2009, 6:23 GMT

    Does anyone get the irony and hypocrisy implicit in Cricket Australia disciplining a player for drinking while making millions of dollars from advertising and promoting beer drinking? Every child who watches the cricket gets the message on TV that the Australian team supports beer drinking. I suppose Ricky Ponting will tell us about poor old Andrew Symonds letting the team down whilst wearing a VB cap at the same time. Cricket Australia is part funded by beer drinking. Andrew Symonds should be their pin-up boy!

  • CB20 on June 5, 2009, 6:23 GMT

    Symonds is not a maverick of that sort for CA to make an exception every time and retain him in the squad (not that they have been kind to him over the last year or so). Having said that, he's a good cricketer and perhaps very fit and a strong bloke. But his cricketing prowess was never in question. I suspect, he's turned out to be bit of an embarrassment to the establishment and his own team mates for being a little too 'colorful' so to speak. or shall i say plain old stupid! whatever this "being a true Australian" means...surely, Australians who confirm to the establishment don't seem to care! It's a sad day for Australian cricket and cricket fans around the world. I liked watching Symo in action. I will really miss him on the field! Like a fish to the water, i hope Symo will get back to his cricket! only a miracle of some sort can make this happen now...

  • Prats6 on June 5, 2009, 5:09 GMT

    This is so disappointing .. For such a small reason you throw out your main match winner seems quite confusing. There is surely more than meets the eye. And no one , including Ponting has the right to say, Symmo has no future in Australian Cricket. He has a lot to offer and I have no doubts over it. I hope the Aussies crash out and are left to rue the decision.

  • Gully_11 on June 5, 2009, 4:35 GMT

    Very disappointing that we will miss one exiting fielder and batsmen like Symonds, Aussie's need to quickly find some one who can hit 30 balls 60 runs, some one special like Symonds who can turn the match.

  • FaisalNihal on June 5, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    wouldn't effect the Aussie team much they are a brilliant unit, no dependency on a single player. Wish my team, Pakistan, can have such discipline and they stop protecting individuals for years and years who make themselves unavailable before any big events....

  • PYC1959 on June 5, 2009, 4:30 GMT

    Maybe CA need to look at their major sponsor and have a rethink. Perhaps they should look to someone like Coke or Pepsi, or a spring water company. If Symmo is setting a bad example then CA should stop the team from wearing the VB cap everytime they are infront of the camera. Perhaps they should ban alchol at the functions too. Poor bugger can't have a quiet beer watching the State of Origin, I would love to know what the other indescretions were.

  • Mohammad.Imran.Hyder on June 5, 2009, 4:00 GMT

    Ignorance of law is no excuse. and he has done this more than once, i think he desereves this. being a pakistani cricket fellow i believe that pakistani cricket board should also take lesson from this example and should tight their cricketers who has central contracts.

  • Betting on June 5, 2009, 3:56 GMT

    I've never been a Symmonds fan, but I find this a very sad way to end his career. On a slightly different point, hopefully CA can use this as a springboard to clean up Oz cricket. I think the time has past for the Boons, Walter and Marshes (and Symmondses) who could drink cartons of beer on a night out and head off for a game the next day. This day and age doesn't need it. Young people in the world need better rolemodels.

  • gzawilliam on June 5, 2009, 3:46 GMT

    Once again we see how times have changed. A small thing like this is just too much to take for the sponsers and board members. Cricket fans don't care that symonds has a few drinks. He is that type of person. If he wasn't he would be a shadow of the player he is.

    Stop treating these players like children and let them blow of some steam and at least have a bit of a life outside the contractual obligations..

    I think the solution is easy. Let the man drink. Thats who he is. But if he comes to practice falling over bins then send him home. Not because he sunk a few while watching his other passion in rugby.

    People cannot be turned into robots.

  • Kumar2009 on June 5, 2009, 3:39 GMT

    I would like to hear the Symmond's side of story before commenting on the issue.... But one thing that i believe is that he is not famous with Ponting's pool. Michael Clarke, will definately not like him coz he is a great competitor for the captaincy. So, once Symmo is out of picture Australian don't have any other option than to give captaincy to Clarke. .... Well done Mr. Clarke !!!!!

    Now, with Symmo's exclusion Australian won't find it easy to win the cup.Symmo, had a great confidence behind him coming to this series after his terrific stint with winners of IPL 2009,the deccan chargers. He would have been the perfect player to fit into Australia's scheme of things. Alas !!!!

  • cys123 on June 5, 2009, 3:12 GMT

    Symonds will be missed by us all. Micheal Clarke and Ricky Ponting are no saint themselves. Ponting and Clarke tongues are fire. I believe they want to get him out long time as a team mate and skipper Ricky should also monitor him and yes he is a big man but we all must be our neighbours keeper. I wish him all the best in the path he takes in his life. Why didnt Ponting report Micheal Clarke to CA after the altercation with Gayle in 2006 ICC champion Trophy the words he said to Chris if came aloud the ICC would be involved As Viv said recently Cricket is no gentleman game because words said on the field are total same and disgrace

  • osee_bhai on June 5, 2009, 2:27 GMT

    In my opinion, I think this is going to be a good thing for the Australian team. The only positive for having Symonds was his imposing figure, however I feel his performances and ongoing off the field headlines will be much better replaced by the up and coming young players. Hats off to the CA for giving him a second chance but then coming down on him swiftly and harshly, this should be the end of the line for him.

  • jimmyt21 on June 5, 2009, 2:16 GMT

    I have defended Symonds through scandal after scandal. A lot of what has been written about him has been beaten up but it seems that he lacks the intelligence to realise that he can't get away with these kinds of incidents.

    Sorry Simmo but this is the lst straw for me, you'll have to play out your days in the relatively meaningless IPL.

  • sandson on June 5, 2009, 2:14 GMT

    i wish australia get knocked out of the T20 WC.. they are in the group of death(C) and its not goin to be easy for them without a player like symonds.. I don't think CA wants to give him a run even though he is sober... it appears there is a hidden agenda to view all his actions under a microscope.. we all know what symonds can do and he proved his worth to Deccan Chargers in the finals.. the guy is the meanest IMPACT player.. its a shame australia .. you are suffering a glut of good players.. when it all comes to pass lets see how many emerge as match winners

  • Yutairui on June 5, 2009, 2:13 GMT

    Sending Andrew Symonds home was a bit heavy handed by Cricket Australia, but not undeserved. Rather than a Roy problem, the larger picture means this is a cricket problem. Symonds started to go off the rails when playing for his country was no longer the prime motivating factor in his sporting life, courtesy of a fat IPL contract that, if nothing else, at least provided him with security if something came up exactly as has happened over the past few months. Though I'm sure Symonds would be heartbroken, he can console himself by being released from all those promotional activities he hated and the draconian rules imposed on him by Cricket Australia by only working a few weeks a year for, I guess, around the same pay, in the IPL. This incident is about more than just Symonds. It poses the question of how many other Roys are among the cricketing elite now, enticed by the IPL's financial security in a financially insecure world and yet less demanding than national representation

  • kaiser1 on June 5, 2009, 2:08 GMT

    I'm saddened about this Guy. Andrew symonds is a fearsome player especially against Pakistan he has always done well. He is unstoppable when on song. I would hate him see play like that against Pakistan coz he hurt Pakistan plans so often. Its a compliment in itself how dangerous a player he is. I guess PCB should learn a lesson or two while dealing with their own problem child like Shoaib Akhtar, I mean they have imposed a lot of penalties against him in the past but any how he came out of it unhurt and hurt Pakistan team with his ineptness on the field as well as off it. Discipline is off course foremost but CA should be considerate about his Contract. They will miss him dearly in future. Seems some evil force is active against him and his fortunes.

  • BH20 on June 5, 2009, 2:06 GMT

    Well, firstly does it matter what a man does in his personal space at dinner time?? For those that dont know when Andrew Symonds was drinking, he was watching the state of origin which is a huge sporting event for Queenslanders in Australia. And to say that he has breached his contract by enjoying that, which every Queenslander does during Origin time is quite lame, pathetic to be honest. It is part of the australian culture to drink ( responsibly) while watching sporting events. I dont think it has been mentioned anywhere Andrew was disordely. Imagine if we had won the t20 wolrd cup? Andrew saying no thanks to alcohol then as well bcoz he has to protect his contract n image?. Dont think he could have handled that type of BULL SH*T ?I'm sure by now Ponting and Clarke have given up on alcohol as well, since they found it bad enough to expel Symonds for it. Symonds is a cricketer, judge him by what he does on the field, and leave him alone of the field to enjoy his life as he choses

  • cricman007 on June 5, 2009, 1:45 GMT

    Symonds ia again being made a scapegoat. It is as if the guy is being deprived of all his freedom and individuality. Obviously Cricket Australia wants to get rid of Symonds but they should not masquerade over these trivial incidents. Symonds' fishing trip was planned long before the team toured Bangladesh since it was to be an off day. Here we are being told that drinking the beer was not a serious incident. Yet again he is being sent home. At least he has not used drugs or given out "pitch and weather" information for $6000 US dollars. The Australian players who were guilty of those misdemenours were treated with kid's gloves.

  • TeeTwo0 on June 5, 2009, 1:37 GMT

    Awww man... cut the bloke some slack! It was an 'Origin game' & he was just being a Queenslander for the night! It was off field & not a game night! Even his fishing trip, if I'm not mistaken was an annual traditional family/friends thing. It seems like either some of his teammates or someone in management just doesn't like him! Symo! the biggest mistake you did was choose to play for an arrogant Aussie team when you had the chance to power up a run down English team!

  • TellasisPatel on June 5, 2009, 1:34 GMT

    Symmonds is a talented cricket player and at the same time he is a disgrace to the game. Finally Australia has sent him home! The way he was trying to bring out the worst from young Maneesh Pandey was just wicked. IPL should not let him play again. TellasisPatel

  • KP_84 on June 5, 2009, 0:50 GMT

    Since when is a quiet drink with the boys while watching the footy a crime? If it was, nearly everyone in New South Wales and Queenland would have lost their jobs the day after Origin I! This gives the impression that the Aus team management were looking for an excuse to get rid a guy that's become a long-term problem for them.

  • KiwiPom on June 4, 2009, 23:58 GMT

    Feel sorry for a genuine guy who was born a generation - or even half a generation - too late. I wonder how David Boon or Doug Walters would get on these days? He's been shafted because of "what it looks like" rather than for any real misdemeanour. I take it Australian cricket will no longer accept sponsorship from beer barons? Oooops - no no no no - that's why he's in trouble.

  • boooonnie on June 4, 2009, 23:54 GMT

    I said some time ago on cricinfo that as Qlder I adored Andy Symonds the cricketer but he was becoming too much of a liablity and a distraction to the Aust team. People who complained about him not being on the Ashes tour disagreed- but sadly I have proven right. I wish I wasn't!

  • redneck on June 4, 2009, 23:42 GMT

    let the queenslander have a beer and enjoy his origin win! its unaustralian not too! since he did it out of the public eye what is the problem? hes still far more fit than half the people that have earned a baggygreen over the years and his agility and sharpness in the field are second to none!

  • classyDB on June 4, 2009, 23:29 GMT

    C.A. has only got it's self to blame for this situation. I feel really sorry for Roy , he was hung out to dry by his employers after the whole Harbajan thing. If you want to look at recent indiscretions i think you will find he hasnt been the same since the discracefull Indian tour when he was racially abused. Roy is a good bloke and it's a shame if his career comes to an end this early.

  • jamrith on June 4, 2009, 23:29 GMT

    Symonds's rare talent will be missed. Ultimately, it is the Australian team management that must take the blame. They used the race card to bait the Indian crowds in 2007 by making Symonds the s.okesman, as it were, to downplay India's win in the T20 world championship, and I have no doubt Symonds was goaded to bait Harbhajan in Sydney in Jan 2008.

  • cricFreak69 on June 4, 2009, 23:26 GMT

    I gotta say, this is some stupid shit that he got whacked for. Like seriously who doesn't drink every once in a while. I mean drinking while watching a rugby match in your off time and not before an impending game is like the most normal thing to do. Cricket's still too gentlemanly and too medieval England. They really need to drop the politeness and kick people out for legit reasons like beating someone's brains in or som' like that. Kinda like what they kick players out for in the NHL or the NBA.

  • alkenned on June 4, 2009, 23:25 GMT

    I don't think it's at all sad .. and I'm an Australian. People seem to be getting confused by the Andrew Symonds aura and the reality. He's had a small number of successful Tests but barely scored a run in Sheffield Shield cricket last season. Overall he's be a big underachiever for a guy with a lot of natural talent. Let's hope he does retire and stops this on-again, off-again situation which can't be helping team morale. Ricky Ponting is correct, it's all about the future of Australian cricket and Symonds has no role to play in that. So let's stop worrying about Andrew Symonds, players like Phillip Hughes are much more exciting. The disappointing thing is that Symonds will pop up once a year to play in IPL and make a fortune, so at the end of the day he probably didn't care about not playing for Australia.

  • SK_11 on June 4, 2009, 23:24 GMT

    Unless cricket australia has something to say, he might just retire from international cricket and stick to two months of IPL and make his million for the year and enjoy the drinking and fishing! Sounds like a good gig to me!

  • yoyobad on June 4, 2009, 22:39 GMT

    i think there is something between him and his teammates..... just the drinking cant be a big issue... there must be something wrong some rift might be..... but symonds is not keeping his head right..... this might well be a sad end of a very good career.......

  • yoyobad on June 4, 2009, 22:36 GMT

    ohh my god...!!!!!!! i dont really beleive this..... is symonds out of his mind or what ..... he is not learning from his mistakes..... he is loosing his life and a very good investment for future in terms of his cricket and life... this is by far the most important games of his near ending career to impose himself in the team......... he is ruining himself.....well i think he lost it......

  • Ozcricketwriter on June 4, 2009, 21:34 GMT

    At the time that he was first dumped (for the fishing issue), I was against the decision, but since then his form has been hopeless. Yes, he did well in the IPL, but other than that he has not deserved his spot in the team. Historically, yes, he is probably Australia's best international Twenty/20 player, but domestically actually David Hussey, Brad Hodge and Cameron White all have better records. Any one of those 3 can and should step up. Would Symonds have done well? I was never sure that he should have been in the side in the first place. It seems to me like he is being treated too kindly, in terms of his form. It reminds me of when Ricky Ponting, at the peak of his young career, was beat up after a night out one night, and was dumped from the Australian team for 6 months or so afterwards. If he got dumped for getting beat up, well, Symonds deserves what he gets. And maybe it is time to retire. His form certainly doesn't warrant him continuing.

  • JAZ_SINGH on June 4, 2009, 20:55 GMT

    Hammad.Fayyaz... You are right that australia do still have the venom in their squad without symonds to be a threat in the competion but i dont agree that having him in the squad or team on the india tour would have made a difference to the result. India beat them very comfortably. And for this world cup, india will beat australia again just like they did in 07 when the so called big players like Hayden, Gilchrist and of course symonds was in the aussie team. GO INDIA!!!

  • niaz_bd on June 4, 2009, 20:48 GMT

    its big loss......and as they r in the group of they....one Gayle day & a Malinga day ensures a 1st round exit for the aussies........!

  • mlhgja on June 4, 2009, 20:24 GMT

    This is typical of Ponting - why does he always come across like a spoilt brat? He has a good record as a captain because he was lucky enough to have Warne and McGrath in his team, but he is out of his depth managing personalities... Symonds played so well in the IPL and deserves his place in the team - so it is CRAZY for him to be sent home for watching the State of Origin over a few beers. Isn't that just part of life? Perhaps Ponting can't bear the thought of another Aussie outshining him in the Tournament... I feel robbed of watching one of the best play - all because of some ridiculous "team rules"...

  • ramseybala on June 4, 2009, 19:54 GMT

    Lovely!!!

    Very anxious to see how the most successful captain of Aus ( Ponting) is going to handle this loss(Symmo). Symmo has played a major role in helping Ponting get this status. Now how will the overrated captain manage.????

    Personally, i love Symmo's game. He plays it real hard. He gives it everything. GREAT ATHELETE. I am surely going to miss him Very MUCH.

    Mostly Aus have got into the invinsible possition because of players like Symmonds. And Symmo had saved Aus far too many times from tough situations to Impossible Wins. With his hard hitting, great catches and smart bowling.

    We sure will miss the short arm jabs and flicks (not just over the ropes but way into the crowd). HE is a BLUDGEONer.

    I wish this WC slowly but surely ensures the Aus domination in World Cricket...

  • mubeenkemisaal on June 4, 2009, 19:51 GMT

    Ufff..!!This will hurt Aussie fans as well the team mates.Its big blow for Aussies were in other hand some oppositions will breathe a bit.Great player in the format of T20,he him selves has to blame.Is this end of Symonds?.It looks though....If so... sad for his fans...!!

  • PhillieFanatic on June 4, 2009, 19:25 GMT

    Yes, this is a great shame. When alcohol causes this many problems in his life, surely the man is an alcoholic and needs to attend to his disease. Based on his known episodes of professional counseling and other help he has received one would hope that he has had some treatment already. It seems that Cricket Australia, his team mates, and the majority of cricket fans have cut Symmo a lot of slack over the years, but he simply has not taken advantage of the kindness and concern shown to him by others. Let's hope his life after cricket is more peaceful.

  • Hammad.Fayyaz on June 4, 2009, 18:42 GMT

    No Doubt the loss of Symonds is a huge blow but I still remember the loss of Shane Warne one night before Aussies Match with Pakistan in WC 2003. So i do believe that Australia still has that venum in them which can take them to the top in this event. Also, they have proved it again that they wot compromise on disipline. They earlier dropped Symonds before India tour and it was a mojor cause of their loss on indian soil. But I admire their vision and their principles that dispiline comes first no matter how big the player is.

  • chakresh-slg on June 4, 2009, 18:24 GMT

    really sad for a player like andew symonds.. he is like at date one of the best players of international cricket.. if a man is addicted to drinls how can a cricket board decide on his fate and life.. he can drink ofcourse.. ya during or within some hours of match is ok but this is too much on part of the board and especially this bloody ricky ponting....... they will regret sending symonds back... n we will all know it soon as australia is knocked out of the tounament..

  • kunushah on June 4, 2009, 18:06 GMT

    It sure is a sad thing to happen- Cricket has been reduced from a gentleman's game to a very ugly one at times. I think we still havent heard the last of this- I have a feeling Symonds will respond in a nasty manner- I even foresee a book 2-3 years down the line- accusing a lot of people!

    This T20 world cup has sure started with a bang!!- without a ball being bowled

  • JoeShmoe on June 4, 2009, 18:04 GMT

    Shame but wont hurt England I guess as he always does well against them

  • chandrashaekar_us on June 4, 2009, 17:42 GMT

    This is very sad. Don't know whether to sympathise with this man or to feel angry that he has done it again. I think he is a cavalier spirit and no amount of disciplining is going to make it work for him. But he has gone beyond the limits more once too many. Hopefully this is not the end of his career. He would probably have had another 2 years of good cricket and could have gone in his own terms. Cricket lovers will feel his absence in the T20 World Cup.

  • jeeva_cricket on June 4, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    These incidents have been a bit TOO frequent. I guess he had it coming. It's not fair on the Australian team nor on their reputation.

  • cutechaitu on June 4, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    it is very sad that such a player is out of the tournamaent.

    i pray lord that symmo gets better in his life.

    all best best for the future.

  • QUDSI on June 4, 2009, 16:31 GMT

    Disappointment a sheer disappointment.On the other hand, it will also affects the Australian team in this cup.

  • neha.sharma on June 4, 2009, 15:49 GMT

    This seriously is going to affect the chances of Australia...Symonds is a very good player..I am sure Australia are going to miss his services in this format

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  • neha.sharma on June 4, 2009, 15:49 GMT

    This seriously is going to affect the chances of Australia...Symonds is a very good player..I am sure Australia are going to miss his services in this format

  • QUDSI on June 4, 2009, 16:31 GMT

    Disappointment a sheer disappointment.On the other hand, it will also affects the Australian team in this cup.

  • cutechaitu on June 4, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    it is very sad that such a player is out of the tournamaent.

    i pray lord that symmo gets better in his life.

    all best best for the future.

  • jeeva_cricket on June 4, 2009, 17:20 GMT

    These incidents have been a bit TOO frequent. I guess he had it coming. It's not fair on the Australian team nor on their reputation.

  • chandrashaekar_us on June 4, 2009, 17:42 GMT

    This is very sad. Don't know whether to sympathise with this man or to feel angry that he has done it again. I think he is a cavalier spirit and no amount of disciplining is going to make it work for him. But he has gone beyond the limits more once too many. Hopefully this is not the end of his career. He would probably have had another 2 years of good cricket and could have gone in his own terms. Cricket lovers will feel his absence in the T20 World Cup.

  • JoeShmoe on June 4, 2009, 18:04 GMT

    Shame but wont hurt England I guess as he always does well against them

  • kunushah on June 4, 2009, 18:06 GMT

    It sure is a sad thing to happen- Cricket has been reduced from a gentleman's game to a very ugly one at times. I think we still havent heard the last of this- I have a feeling Symonds will respond in a nasty manner- I even foresee a book 2-3 years down the line- accusing a lot of people!

    This T20 world cup has sure started with a bang!!- without a ball being bowled

  • chakresh-slg on June 4, 2009, 18:24 GMT

    really sad for a player like andew symonds.. he is like at date one of the best players of international cricket.. if a man is addicted to drinls how can a cricket board decide on his fate and life.. he can drink ofcourse.. ya during or within some hours of match is ok but this is too much on part of the board and especially this bloody ricky ponting....... they will regret sending symonds back... n we will all know it soon as australia is knocked out of the tounament..

  • Hammad.Fayyaz on June 4, 2009, 18:42 GMT

    No Doubt the loss of Symonds is a huge blow but I still remember the loss of Shane Warne one night before Aussies Match with Pakistan in WC 2003. So i do believe that Australia still has that venum in them which can take them to the top in this event. Also, they have proved it again that they wot compromise on disipline. They earlier dropped Symonds before India tour and it was a mojor cause of their loss on indian soil. But I admire their vision and their principles that dispiline comes first no matter how big the player is.

  • PhillieFanatic on June 4, 2009, 19:25 GMT

    Yes, this is a great shame. When alcohol causes this many problems in his life, surely the man is an alcoholic and needs to attend to his disease. Based on his known episodes of professional counseling and other help he has received one would hope that he has had some treatment already. It seems that Cricket Australia, his team mates, and the majority of cricket fans have cut Symmo a lot of slack over the years, but he simply has not taken advantage of the kindness and concern shown to him by others. Let's hope his life after cricket is more peaceful.