Symonds eager to return to Aussie fold

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Troubled Australian Andrew Symonds has declared himself mentally fit for a comeback to the side.

Updated: November 09, 2008 17:57 IST
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Troubled Australian Andrew Symonds has declared himself mentally fit for a comeback to the side, claiming that his desire to play cricket has been renewed following weeks of introspection after the 'gone-fishing' misdemeanour.

Symonds, in his just-released book 'Roy on the Rise: A Year of Living Dangerously', has claimed that he lost the desire to play cricket on two occasions.

First was when Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was let off with just a fine during the Sydney race row and second when he was shunted out of side after missing a customary team meeting for fishing in Darwin.

But counselling and support from Cricket Australia have prepared him for a return.

"That was my biggest worry when I came back from Darwin -whether I wanted the challenge anymore, but I do still want that," Symonds was quoted as saying by 'The Herald Sun'.

"For the first time I've actually sat down and watched a little bit of cricket on TV. I've found myself sitting there wanting to be next in to bat a few times.

"I would have loved to have had that challenge of playing them over there. Obviously that wasn't to be, but I guess that's also a good sign that the hunger is there and I'm looking forward to when I hopefully can get back out there," he added.

Symonds said the reason why he went fishing instead of attending the team meeting in Darwin was that he had ended up misreading his schedule for the day.

"That wasn't a decision, it was just a mistake. It wasn't like I went out and got drunk and had a fight. I just made a mistake. I was in bed early, got up early to go fishing and just misread my team sheet," he said.

"I was obviously frustrated and annoyed with the decision, but I now can look back on it and understand that a decision had to be made. At the end of the day, I did make a mistake - even if it was an accident," he added.

Symonds has been regularly meeting sports psychologist Jauncey and is also in touch with Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland during his rehabilitation.

Sutherland said he is satisfied with the way Symonds has progressed.

"Andrew understands where he is up to in this exercise and we agree that he has made significant progress during his enforced lay-off," Sutherland said.

"Like his many fans around Australia, we're very much looking forward to having Andrew back. When he is up and firing, he is one of the very best players in the world.

"I hope that it is not too long before he is again available for Australian selection," he added.

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