Allrounder's future

Symonds waits to decide on future

Alex Brown and Peter English

June 6, 2009

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Andrew Symonds congratulates Matthew Hayden on reaching his century, Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, December 27, 2006
Matthew Hayden will try to help his best mate © Getty Images
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Andrew Symonds delayed a possible retirement announcement after touching down in Brisbane by saying he will take some time before making a decision. Symonds landed in Queensland on a cool Saturday morning, two days after being sent home from England for breaking team rules over his behaviour and alcohol intake.

He made a brief statement at the airport and was then driven off by Joe Dawes, a former Queensland team-mate and Queensland Cricket's players' professional development manager. "I've got a fair bit to consider I suppose and I appreciate you all coming out here this morning and I will come out and make a full proper [statement] when I've gathered my thoughts and sat down with friends," he said.

While Symonds reviewed his cricketing future his psychologist, Deidre Anderson, said she was satisfied the all-rounder had taken major strides towards working through his personal issues. Anderson, who has previously worked with Australian Olympians including Cathy Freeman and Ian Thorpe, said she expected to continue working with Symonds even if his ties with Cricket Australia are severed.

"It's really up to what Andrew wants to do from here, but I can't see why he wouldn't want to continue," Anderson told Cricinfo. "It's hard to comment too much on this, but suffice to say I think that anybody who knows him would say they've noticed a significant difference in him in a whole range of areas. So I would say, yes, there have been positive developments.

"These are challenging issues for him, but I'm sure he'll work through them and come out the other side."

Team-mates expect Symonds will end his international career, a move which would allow him to earn US$1.35m for playing a full IPL season next year. Matthew Hayden and John Buchanan are two people close to Symonds who have offered him support following his exit from England and the freezing of his 2009-10 Cricket Australia contract.

"Andrew is my best friend, [my wife] Kellie and I care very deeply for him," Hayden told the Weekend Australian. "First and foremost it's about getting Andrew in a position where in his heart of hearts and in his very core admits that he has a problem, and it is not masked by the carrot of playing for Australia or doing anything else in his life other than just trying to understand the depth of the issue.

"We all know his cricket attributes, he has captivated audiences right across the world and he's revolutionised the way the game has been played. He will do that in other fields of life as well, but first and foremost as a mate we have to get him to the position where we understand the extent of the issues surrounding alcohol and then we can move forward."

Buchanan said in the Courier-Mail Symonds had to adapt to his new situation. "I'm a very big supporter of Andrew and I always will be, I want to sit down with him and help him if I can, I am sure he will see me as a true friend," Buchanan said. "For Andrew's sake, the less that is made of this story the better ... I don't think it does anybody any good to get on his back too much now. I'm sure he will be the first to admit he has made some mistakes."

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