IPL not distracting Symonds, says Hopes

Updated: 17 April 2008 07:10 IST

Australia all-rounder James Hopes denied that struggling team-mate Andrew Symonds was being affected by off-field distractions such as the IPL.

IPL not distracting Symonds, says Hopes
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Sydney:

Australia all-rounder James Hopes on Saturday denied that struggling team-mate Andrew Symonds was being affected by off-field distractions such as the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Symonds landed a massive 1.35 million dollars salary at this week's IPL auction, making him the best-paid overseas player, despite returning just 42 runs at 8.40 in the ongoing tri-series.

He has also been criticised over his threat to pull out of the upcoming tour of Pakistan, which clashes with the start of the lucrative IPL.

And the big-hitting Queenslander was blamed for his part in the Harbhajan Singh race row after the appeals commissioner found there was no evidence of abuse and faulted Symonds for starting the verbal exchange.

But Hopes, who also plays alongside Symonds with Queensland, defended the all-rounder.

"I have known 'Roy' for a long time and it is not distracting him," said Hopes, using one of Symonds' nicknames.

"He is just getting frustrated with his batting, not so much the way he is getting himself out but that he is not getting himself in. Everyone goes through those patches but I don't think it has anything to do with signing with the IPL or anything like that.

"I think he is just one sort of player who is struggling a bit to find some touch. With a player like that it could come tomorrow and all he needs is a couple of shots and he is away again."

Symonds is just one Australian in the IPL who is battling for form, with Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden also struggling for runs in the tri-series.

However, Hopes said their low scores were more to do with the high quality of bowling in the series.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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