Symonds delays announcement on playing future

All-rounder Andrew Symonds was still considering his playing future when he arrived home on Saturday after being kicked off the Australia team at the Twenty20 World Cup in England.

Local media had speculated that Symonds would immediately announce his retirement from international cricket after he was sent home in disgrace for an alcohol-related incident in London.

Symonds did not answer questions from reporters about his future when he touched down at Brisbane Airport, but confirmed he would make an announcement in the next few days.

”I’ve got a fair bit to consider… and I will come out and make a proper full statement when I’ve gathered my thoughts and sat down with friends,” he said.

Symonds is contracted to Cricket Australia until the end of this month and was recently offered a new 12-month deal for next season.

However, officials announced this week they were withdrawing their offer to review his case in the wake of his latest disciplinary breach, prompting speculation he would quit Australia to focus on the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).

The 33-year-old Symonds has been dogged by off-field problems during his international career and only recently rejoined the team after undergoing counselling for alcohol problems.

Symonds revealed last year that he had started drinking heavily to cope with the pressure of constantly being in the spotlight as a professional sportsmen.

Australia officials said the latest incident was relatively minor but they had no alternative other than to send him home because of his long record of ill-discipline.

Former Australia vice-captain Ian Healy said he would not be surprised if Symonds quit, saying his fellow Queenslander looked as though he had had enough of international cricket.

”He might just be sick [of it]. He’s just cooked and tired of cricket and sort of wants to be dropped,” Healy told a Sydney radio station.

”I’m not sure whether Symmo wants to play cricket or be bound by contracts or be bound by the Cricket Australia structure.

”I sense that he might be seeking the freedom that IPL and maybe a [English] County stint might offer him.” – Reuters

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