Symonds sent home from T20 World Cup

Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds is being sent home from the World Twenty20 cricket tournament in England for breaking team rules, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Thursday.

CA chief executive James Sutherland said the breaches, some related to alcohol use, were the ”final straw” for the controversial all-rounder.

Sutherland called a conference to make the announcement and he said Captain Ricky Ponting was to address another press conference in London on Thursday to discuss the situation with Symonds.

Sutherland said the big-hitting all-rounder broke a number of rules ”in the last 24-48 hours” and CA were now organising flights to get him back to Australia.

Symonds’s CA contract, which he retained only last month, was also under review, Sutherland said.

”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 said.

The Australians are due to face the West Indies in their first match of the Twenty20 tournament on Saturday, but they will do so without Symonds.

Sutherland said the Australian team’s leadership group held a meeting after becoming aware of the situation and expressed their concerns to the governing body.

A CA board meeting then endorsed the leadership group’s concerns and officials are talking to the International Cricket Council (ICC) about organising a possible replacement player, he said.

It is likely Symonds’s international career is over after the latest in a long list of off-field problems.

Symonds, who missed out on selection in Australia’s Ashes squad announced last month, has been embroiled in a series of off-field indiscretions.

He was suspended from the national team in September last year for going fishing instead of attending a team meeting, and was barred from the national squad that toured South Africa this year and fined by Cricket Australia after criticising New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum in a radio interview.

Symonds, who was also suspended in 2005 for arriving for a match under the influence of alcohol, received counselling earlier this year and returned to the national team in the one-day series win over Pakistan in Dubai in April.

Symonds has had a chequered 26-Test career and has not played a Test for Australia since Boxing Day last year against South Africa in Melbourne. — AFP



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