Symonds fined $4000 for McCullum comments

Andrew Symonds has been fined A$4000 for calling Brendon McCullum a "lump of s..." during a radio interview following a hearing in Melbourne on Thursday. Symonds pleaded guilty to a charge of "detrimental public comment" after being reported by Cricket Australia on Tuesday.

Gordon Lewis, the code of conduct senior commissioner, issued the fine - which is less than a match fee for a one-day international - following the hearing at Cricket Australia's offices. Symonds had previously apologised to McCullum for the incident, which occurred last Friday during an interview with the comedians Roy and HG.

"Whilst the comments were intended to be light-hearted, I acknowledge that they were careless and as such I accept the fine that I have received today," Symonds told AAP. "I am pleased that the commissioner determined the penalty based on the full 14-minute interview, and not just the one comment that received extensive coverage.

"I want to again apologise to Brendon McCullum for my comments and thank him for his understanding. I want to reinforce that I remain committed to Cricket Australia and Queensland Cricket, and I look forward to putting this matter behind me so that I can focus on my cricket."

Symonds was talking about McCullum's signing to play for New South Wales in the domestic Twenty20 final when he said: "They're trying to use him [McCullum] as the out because he's a Kiwi. Yep, we love to hate them, but he's the lump of s..., sorry, lump of cow dirt, that people are thinking of." Symonds had been drinking before the interview but made his grade comeback the following day.

The decision leaves Symonds free to continue his recovery from knee surgery and he will play for Queensland in Friday's Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia at the Gabba. There were some calls for Symonds to have his national contract cancelled, but he remains available for the tour to South Africa, with the squad being named next week.

The hearing came after Symonds was involved in an altercation with a man at a Brisbane pub on his return to the Test team in November, which followed his suspension for going fishing in Darwin instead of attending a team meeting. Symonds has been undergoing counselling since the incident in the Northern Territory and his psychologist has supported his international comeback.