Playing Symonds in S. Africa would be a huge gamble: Steve Waugh

February 2nd, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Feb.2 (ANI): Former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh believes it would be a huge gamble to include Andrew Symonds for the tour of South Africa.
“If he was selected for South Africa, I think that would be a gamble. He’’s certainly not at his best right now, but he’’s one of those guys who can come out and win you a match tomorrow. So, you”ve got to weigh the pros and cons - that’’s a decision that’’s got to be made by the selectors,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Waugh, as saying.
Waugh, who was inducted into Australian cricket’’s hall of fame today, made the comments on the eve of a pivotal Cricket Australia board meeting which could take the decision out of selectors” hands.
CA directors will debate whether Symonds should be available for selection or be put back on another counselling and rehabilitation program following a summer of off-field dramas.
His latest controversy, calling New Zealander Brendan McCullum a “lump of shit “, cost him 4000 dollars and raised new doubts about his mental state.
Symonds is understood to have both supporters and detractors on the board which will meet before the Allan Border Medal ceremony on Tuesday night.
The Queenslander won”t be in Melbourne for the awards night, instead travelling north to Cairns to attend the funeral of friend Warren Maher, the father of long-time teammate Jimmy.
If given the green light by the board, Symonds must then hope the four-man selection panel looks past his poor form, including twin failures in last weekend’’s Sheffield Shield comeback from knee surgery.
Captain Ricky Ponting is known to be super keen to have Symonds back in his side after Test and one-day series losses to South Africa.
Waugh said: “All of Australia wants to see him do well, particularly Ricky, who loves having him in the side because he gives that side the X-factor - that’’s something special, he can win a match.”
Symonds” Queensland coach Trevor Barsby is unsure whether the 26-Test enforcer would be better off being left at home and building his form for an Ashes return through Shield action.
“His form is not great at this present stage and he openly admits that. It will be a baptism of fire in South Africa for him against a well-organised cricket side. That could bring the best out of him or he could remain with us for the rest of the season and get into good form and build a case for England,” Barsby said. (ANI)

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