Symonds ponders his future

2009-06-06 15:49
Andrew Symonds (File)

Brisbane - Disgraced cricketer Andrew Symonds arrived on Saturday saying he had "a fair bit to consider" after being ordered home from Australia's tour to England on disciplinary grounds.

The international playing career of the talented all-rounder is in doubt after Cricket Australia pulled him out of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament on Thursday for breaking team rules.

CA chief executive James Sutherland said the breaches, some related to alcohol use, were the "final straw" for the trouble-prone player.

Symonds declined to answer questions but read a brief statement to a large media contingent at Brisbane airport early on Saturday after his flight from London.

"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," Symonds said.

Sutherland has said Symonds' central contract, which he retained only last month, was also under review, while his lucrative playing contract with the Indian Premier League has a year remaining.

Reports on Saturday said Symonds was disillusioned with playing for his country and indignant over a substantial central contract downgrade.

"His ranking within the team has fallen rapidly in the past two years and the new contract offered by Cricket Australia represented a significant pay-cut," The Sydney Morning Herald said.

"The 33-year-old has grown increasingly frustrated with the fastidious preparations of the Australian side as demands grow for players participating in three formats of the game, with an intense international schedule.

"He attempted to adapt, through rehabilitation for a drinking problem. Alcohol became a defence mechanism each time he felt the pressures of the Australian team environment, which led to a string of notable infringements."

The Herald said after showing marked improvement in his condition and making several promises to Cricket Australia officials, Symonds was given one last chance.

"But again confronted with the pressures of being in the Australian team, he succumbed." it said.

A source close to Symonds told the newspaper the player felt the team's leadership group of captain Ricky Ponting, deputy Michael Clarke, coach Tim Nielsen and manager Steve Bernard simply "did not want to deal with him".

Former Queensland teammate and Australian vice-captain Ian Healy said he wasn't sure whether Symonds wanted to play international cricket again.

"He's just cooked and tired of cricket and sort of wants to be dropped," Healy said in a radio interview on Friday.

"I'm not sure whether Symo wants to play cricket or be bound by contracts or be bound by the Cricket Australia structure," he said, adding Symonds could focus his career on the IPL and perhaps English county cricket.


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