Ex-Oz keeper Healy says frazzled Symonds secretly relieved at being axed

June 5th, 2009 - 12:53 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, June 5 (ANI): Former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy has said that all-rounder Andrew Symonds is secretly relieved to be out of the running, as he was ‘tired of cricket’ and wanted to be dropped from national duty.

The Herald Sun quoted Healy, as saying that his fellow Queenslander might be happy now to play a short stint each year in the lucrative Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament and pick up an English County contract, as long as their “team rules’ weren’t too strict.

Healy said Symonds had great difficulty coping with a new-era team discipline or a team code off the field.

“I guess the drink is influencing him there. He has always loved a drink and it may have turned into a problem,” Healy said on Sydney radio.

“The other thing is he might just be sick (of it). He’s just cooked and tired of cricket and sort of wants to be dropped. 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 county stint might offer him. Then he can the rest of the year in his tinnie (boat) and (drink) at the corner of the bar between Brisbane and the Gold Coast,” Healy said.

Symonds is believed to be on a plane home to brisbane, flying into a storm of controversy. His axing from Australia’s Twenty20 squad follows him leaving the team hotel after-hours with no explanation. It was also reported he had been having a drink while watching this week’s State of Origin rugby clash on television and celebrated Queensland’s victory with more beers.

Healy, a television commentator, said the Australian team did not take the decision lightly to impose such a severe sanction on a teammate.

“A punishment dished out by your teammates and peers is a lot more damaging personally than a Cricket Australia sanction. So this is bad in that he has let the national team down and teammates who were gearing up for a (Twenty20) World Cup,” he said. Cricket Australia is likely to face a major backlash over its handling of Symonds who, as far back as the 2005 Ashes series, nearly had his contract ripped up when he turned up drunk for a one-dayer against Bangladesh.

Symonds has rarely been out of hot water since and he has not been the same since the “monkey” racial abuse controversy last year.

Symonds has played 26 Tests, making 1462 runs at an average of 40.61 with a highest score of 162 not out. He has taken 24 Test wickets at an average of 37. (ANI)

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