The World Twenty20 starts this week, and Australia has already lost a warm-up match to Zimbabwe. It’s no toughie to work out why. Beyond Dave Warner, Shane Watson and Cameron White, our batting order lacks firepower. The bang crash wallop only one man can deliver. But that man, presumably, is on a fishing boat somewhere.

Symonds' crimes pale against those of other sports stars. Photo: News Limited

I was in India last week on assignment for Alpha magazine. One of my stops was the IPL match between Dave Warner’s Delhi Daredevils and the Deccan Chargers, captained by Adam Gilchrist and starring Andrew Symonds.

Symonds was just unbelievable. On a tricky, slow pitch where all other batsmen failed to dominate, he produced an array of heaves, swipes and dabs. One minute he swung his revolutionary Mongoose bat like a lumberjack. The next, it was a delicate wizard’s wand.

His versatility was also on show in the field, where Symonds sent down two miserly overs at four runs apiece. Lithe and assured on the boundary, he looked more likely to buy Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland a beer than let anything through to the rope. Unsurprisingly, he was Man of the Match.

Symonds has been variously described as “troubled” and “ill-disciplined”, euphemisms which mean he doesn’t fit CA’s squeaky clean mould in its ongoing battle for Australian sport’s moral high ground. He is not currently one of CA’s 25 contracted players, and at age 34, is unlikely to be again. But he should be.

Symonds’ last appearance in Australian colours was at the most recent instalment of the biennial World Twenty20 tournament, which for reasons best known to TV rights negotiators, was a mere 10 months ago, in England. Before the tourney, he spent a boozy morning watching the State of Origin back in Australia, violating the explicit no grog policy of the team sponsored by VB. Game over. Pack your bags, son.

Yes, it was another chapter in a past more chequered than the flannies he wears away from cricket – a past that includes various team curfew violations caused by a combination of booze and poor diary skills, and late night scuffles, usually provoked by drunk attention-seekers.

But would someone, please, remind me of the heinous crime that Andrew Symonds has committed in the mould of say, AFL serial idiot Wayne Carey or NRL glasser Greg Bird? The Melbourne Storm players were given free boats. Safe to assume Roy’s beloved tinny was purchased through his own hard-earned.

Symonds has been quietly dignified since his axing last June. Apart from a 60 Minutes appearance in 2009, he hasn’t sought to buy back favour through the tell-all book and public displays of crocodile tears.

Indian journalists I spoke to last week are shocked that there is no place for him in the Australian team. Fans, too. Almost no one in India can believe that authorities here are so short-sighted and vindictive as to keep him on the outer.

Oh, and for the record, most Indians bear no grudge against Symonds for fulfilling his obligation and reporting Harbhajan Singh for calling him a monkey. They don’t blame Harby either, on the grounds that the word “monkey” in India is not considered an offensive taunt, much like the term “bastard” in Australia. But that’s another story.

Admittedly, most Indians are unaware of Symonds’ spat with Australia’s T20 skipper Michael Clarke. That, more anything, is what makes his return to Australia’s T20 team an impossibility.

A shame, a real shame. As his IPL performances proved, Symonds is still our best T20 bat by the length of his fishing line. He may even be a reformed character. For what it’s worth, he was behaving himself immaculately at the ridiculously ostentatious IPL after-party last week – at least till I left at about 3:30am.

Bottom line: Andrew Symonds has never sexually assaulted anyone, texted nude images of his lover to his mates, glassed his girlfriend or shat on a hotel carpet. You don’t need me to remind you that the four rats accused of said acts are now back playing their respective football codes.

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21 comments

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    • BTS says:

      06:21am | 30/04/10

      There’s more to the spat with the current captain than you have described.

    • Davo says:

      08:28am | 30/04/10

      Hey, BTS. By that do you mean Roy had a Bingle with Lara?

    • BG says:

      09:32am | 30/04/10

      Tell us more….

    • Ant Sharwood says:

      09:51am | 30/04/10

      Yeah BTS. I feel like I should be in this loop too. Like BG says, tell us more!!! Or at least allude to something.

    • BTS says:

      10:30am | 30/04/10

      Indeed Davo!  That’s what I am told and by two sources, one of which has always been reliable.  Why do you think the dislike has always been so intense?  It isn’t about beer.

    • iansand says:

      01:18pm | 30/04/10

      Did Symo have a bingle with Lara?

    • T.Chong says:

      07:51am | 30/04/10

      Symonds doesnt need forgiving by anyone, least of all from the same media who did the hatchet job in the first place.

    • H of SA says:

      12:42pm | 30/04/10

      Don’t really agree with you on this one T Chong, sayign Mr. Symonds got a rough ride in the media is a bit rich.

      I mean this is the guy who 2 years ago was on the cover of every sports magazine in the country whilst simultaneously trying to sell me Fords, toothpaste and wheet bixs. All the while having a sympathetic press let him get away with his “I don’t like the attention” line….while raking in the money selling his own image.

      Then when he self-destructed it was reported and it was the end of his international career - with enough money to live comfortably for the rest of his life.

      If that’s unfair media treatment…...where can I sign up for some?

    • Phil says:

      07:59am | 30/04/10

      Agreed. Roy should be in the team, however the management have their heads so far buried where the sun does not shine, they would rather Australia not win, than give him a go.

      Did Punter not get involved in a scuffle outside some tranny bar in the Cross in his younger days.

      Each of them have their own issues. So Roy likes a beer or 20 after a game or when watching his favourite other sports. So he is like about 45% of the population, maybe more.

      Roy appears to speak his mind, what most Aussies would love to do. He doesnt need the money, hell he is one of the highest earners in the IPL, getting about $ 200,000 per week for 6 weeks. Enough to get you by for the rest of the year.

      As you say they are sponsored by VB. Could it be that as a Queenslander Roy likes that crap called XXXX?

      The Australian team deserves to loose, and that is the only time have ever said that in my life.

    • Nate says:

      09:05am | 30/04/10

      Symonds biggest problem is his self respect. It means he’s not willing to kiss the arse of Ricky ‘Rexona’ Ponting and the school prefect Clarke. Real aussies take time out to watch the State of Origin. Showy gits advertise deodorant and buy Astin Martins for their synthetically enhnaced girlfriends.

      He’s simply one of the great characters of cricket, like Boony and Merv, only more talented, which is the great shame.

    • H of SA says:

      01:03pm | 30/04/10

      Real Aussies take the time out to watch the state of origin?

      So I guess Western Australians, South Australians, Victorians, Tasmanians, and Northen Territorians don’t count as real Aussies then

    • Ben81 says:

      01:27pm | 30/04/10

      Nah, his biggest problem is that clown makeup he finds any excuse to use, even when it’s night time!

    • Markus says:

      09:39am | 30/04/10

      “You don’t need me to remind you that the four rats accused of said acts are now back playing their respective football codes”.
      I am yet to find a single person that thinks these scumbags being allowed to play again is a good thing.
      Symonds contract was torn up for repeatedly breaching protocol.
      And despite all your sentiment (I loved him in his heyday too), his form in the most recent first class T20 and one-day series’ has not warranted a recall to the national side.

    • Dan says:

      10:02am | 30/04/10

      Well, Marcus, I can’t speak of all the four people, however I am delighted that Fevola is still playing.

    • iansand says:

      10:47am | 30/04/10

      If current standards were applied during the Chappel years the only person on the team would be Kim Hughes having a weep on the boundary.

      Sporting officials have to understand that they are there to provide for the needs of the players, not the other way round.

    • TC says:

      02:56pm | 30/04/10

      Cant argue with you there mate

    • Mac says:

      01:24pm | 30/04/10

      “Symonds was just unbelievable”.

      Exactly the sentiment expressed by Queensland Bulls fans during the Big Bash competition earlier this year. It was absolutely unbelievable that someone so out of form and uninterested in the team performance was being paid to be on the field.

      He would be well down the list of Queensland all-rounders worthy of consideration for Australian team selection.

      It is past time to move on.  So long, Roy. Don’t call us and we won’t disturb you.

    • sam says:

      01:26pm | 30/04/10

      most people like a beer and know when they have had to much not roy as for his cricket its more miss then hit

    • Mark Young says:

      05:02pm | 30/04/10

      Symonds crime wasn’t that he got pissed after the game, its that he was precious, precocious, hard to get along with and generally gave up way to easily when any pressure to his position in the team is applied.

      There are a heap of guys playing cricket in Australia about as good or better then him, and most of them are better men.

    • Dallas Beaufort says:

      09:48pm | 30/04/10

      And Andrew can also go fishing when he is not playing, and no, you don’t have to cut your Samson like locks. As your nemesis now fails to deliver.

    • stephen says:

      06:48pm | 02/05/10

      Even the Polo Pony players are playing up.
      End of civilization.
      Or maybe a bloody good shake-up.

 

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