Unruly Symonds sent home, future looks bleak

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/symonds-t20.jpg' class='caption'> Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds has been sent home from the Twenty20 World Cup in England for another off-field incident relating to alcohol.

Updated: June 04, 2009 13:41 IST
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Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds has been sent home from the Twenty20 World Cup in England for another off-field incident relating to alcohol.

Symonds has a history of off-field problems dating back to Australia's last tour to England in 2005, when he was banned for two matches after arriving drunk to a limited-overs international.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland confirmed Symonds' latest breach of the team rules was alcohol related and that his contract was subject to review.

Discuss: Is it the end of roads for Andrew Symonds?

"In isolation the breaches that I am talking about are not serious, but in the scheme of things, in the scheme of history, they are enough for it to be the final straw," Sutherland told reporters in Melbourne.

The latest incidents were not specified, with Sutherland not drawn on whether police were involved. It was reported Symonds attended a dinner at a Kensington hotel with the Australian squad on Wednesday night.

"In the last 24-48 hours he has broken a number of team rules," Sutherland said. "In the context of commitments Andrew has made to his teammates and to Cricket Australia in the last six months, it's the last straw. Unfortunately, it's a constant balancing act and it's just tipped too far today.

"Andrew is very disappointed and understandably upset. I'm disappointed in Andrew and I'm disappointed for Andrew. I'm quite sad about it."

Australia captain Ricky Ponting called a news conference at The Oval at 1200 GMT on Thursday to discuss the matter. Australia is due to play the West Indies on Saturday in their opening match of the Twenty20 World Cup.

Symonds has not played a Test match for Australia since December, when he started treatment for an injured knee, but returned to the ODI squad in a series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last month. He also played an important role in Deccan Chargers' recent win in the Indian Premier League in South Africa.

Symonds will turn 34 next week and selectors national demonstrated some frustration with him last month when they omitted him from the squad for the five-test Ashes series in England which follows the T20 World Cup.

Symonds was last month offered a Cricket Australia contract for the 2009-10 season, but Sutherland has told him "we would take that offer off the table at this stage and reconsider our position."

The past 18 months have been the most tumultuous of Symonds' career. In January 2008 he was at the center of the "monkeygate" scandal in the home series against India, when he accused Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh of making racist remarks to him.

Symonds was dissatisfied at Cricket Australia's response in the ensuing investigation. He missed the return tour to India after going fishing rather than attending a team meeting ahead of a limited-overs series against Bangladesh in September.

The big-hitting allrounder was ordered to undergo counseling before being eligible for selection again, and won a recall for the series against New Zealand in November.

Symonds was only one test into his comeback when he was subjected to an investigation following reports of a bar fight in Brisbane with a drunken fan. He was cleared of that charge but fined again in January for making derogatory comments about a New Zealand player in a radio interview _ when he was allegedly drunk.

He has admitted to struggling with alcohol.

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