Symonds 'blood boil' at Hansen's blame

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has rejected criticism that he sparked the racism row with India's Harbhajan Singh in the recent Test series.

Updated: February 05, 2008 17:44 IST
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Australian all rounder Andrew Symonds has strongly opposed ICC Appeals Commissioner's blame that he sparked off the racism row involving Harbhajan Singh during the Sydney Test, saying it makes his "blood boil" if anyone questioned his integrity.

"To have people questioning my integrity as a person and cricketer is pretty ordinary," Symonds said in his first reaction to the whole "head-spinning" episode.

"Anyone who knows me, understands that I'm a very straight up and down bloke, what you see is what you get, so to have people saying I'm not playing cricket in the right spirit really makes my blood boil," he wrote in his column for 'Sunday Telegraph'.

ICC Appeals Commissioner John Hansen had criticised Symonds' behaviour in the Test, saying he had unnecessarily instigated the verbal exchange while letting off Harbhajan, who was accused of racially abusing the all rounder, with minor punishment.

Symonds said it was "shattering" to hear the outcome of the hearing after the controversy had taken a toll on him as well as his family.

"The last four weeks have been the most full-on, stressful period of my career. From the initial racism row to the threats about the whole series being called off, my head hasn't stopped spinning.

"There have been meetings with lawyers and advisors, a day in the Adelaide courtroom, the charges downgraded by the court, fingers pointed and all of a sudden I'm somehow getting the blame... I am pretty shattered," he said.

"It's been a rough ride and it's taken a pretty big toll on me personally, but more importantly, on my family, my girlfriend and those close to me," Symonds said.

The hard-hitting batsman insisted that he would never make a mountain of a molehill.

"I'm quite happy for the general public to make up their own minds about what did or didn't happen, but I can assure you I wouldn't take a stand against something unless I really believed in it."

Symonds acknowledged that his captain Ricky Ponting stood by him like a "rock" during the entire controversy.

"It was good of Ricky Ponting to come out and stand up for my character. In times like these you find out who your friends are and there's no doubt in my mind Punter's rock solid."

Symonds lamented that some quality cricket was overshadowed by dramatic events.

"It's a great series. Real shame all this other drama has overshadowed some quality cricket."

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