ICC World Twenty20 June 5, 2009

Axed Symonds 'tired of cricket'

Cricinfo staff

Ian Healy believes Andrew Symonds, his former Queensland team-mate, could have been looking for a way out of the international game after being sent home from England for breaking team rules. Symonds was cut from the squad three days before Australia's opening World Twenty20 match in a decision Andrew Flintoff said would "be detrimental to the tournament".

Symonds was punished for drinking while watching the opening State of Origin rugby league game on Wednesday and has been replaced in the squad by Cameron White. Healy, the former Test vice-captain, said Symonds always loved a drink and it may have turned into a problem.

"The other thing is he might just be sick [of cricket]," Healy told radio station 2KY. "He's just cooked and tired of cricket and sort of wants to be dropped.

"I'm not sure whether Symo wants to play cricket or be bound by contracts or be bound by the Cricket Australia structure. I sense that he might be seeking the freedom that IPL and maybe a county stint might offer him."

Healy remembered Symonds' grilling of Shane Warne when the legspinner was banned on the eve of the 2003 World Cup for a drug issue. "Now it's Andrew Symonds who has created a similar indiscretion and let a squad down," he said. "It's damaging and not defendable as yet. Cricket either changes those team boundaries to accommodate him or they lose him. That might be the scenario."

Flintoff has had his own drink-related problems, including the pedalo incident during the 2007 World Cup, and was sad Symonds had left. "It's going to be detrimental to the tournament," Flintoff told the BBC. "People want to see the likes of Andrew Symonds. It's sad for Symo and it's sad for the tournament as well. I'm sure Symo will be back. He's far too good and he's far too strong-willed to let this upset him too much."

Dean Jones said Symonds was "too Australian". "He just had a beer and supported Queensland's big win over New South Wales ... He left the hotel without telling anyone," Jones told 3AW. "Can you imagine that in the old days with Dennis Lillee or Jeff Thomson having to tell the manager where they were going. It's a security reason for whatever reason. But they're in England aren't they?"