Symonds opts to face disciplinary board in Melbourne

January 28th, 2009 - 4:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Brisbane/Perth, Jan.28 (ANI): Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds will travel to Melbourne to face Cricket Australias disciplinary hearing on Thursday in connection with his “lump of shit ” radio jibe at New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum.
According to The Age, Symonds was originally set to give evidence via a phone hook-up in order to stay and train in Brisbane in preparation for his comeback match for Queensland against Western Australia on Friday.
But with an important Cricket Australia board meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, looming as pivotal in his hopes of making a Test return for next month’’s South African tour, Symonds will make a rushed trip south.
Symonds” manager Matt Fearon indicated an extra training session was hastily planned with Bulls coach Trevor Barsby to ensure he was properly prepared for his return from knee surgery against Western Australia at the Gabba.
“He was keen to obviously fulfill all the training commitments he could at this point so that was the only concern,” Fearon said on Wednesday.
“But he’’s worked with Trevor Barsby in picking up some additional training that he would have missed.
“Obviously the primary importance is to be at the hearing.”
While Symonds will be suited up and represented by Australian Cricket Association legal counsel Michael Abrahams, the code of behaviour hearing is only the first, and arguably least threatening, of three successive tests of his touring worth.
Despite a controversial history, Symonds” charge is his first under CA’’s code of behaviour which is set to save him from a suspension.
He is expected to cop the maximum fine of 5,750 dollars fine for Friday’’s rambling FM radio rant, which followed a drinking session at a Gold Coast hotel.
The most worrying test, hot on the heels of the Gabba Shield clash, will be Tuesday’’s CA board meeting as directors debate the dreadlocked swashbuckler’’s future.
Symonds is understood to have strong supporters and detractors alike on the board, which may send him into another period of counselling and rehabilitation after his latest in a string of off-field dramas.
Former Test captain Ian Chappell has warned against including him in the South African tour party, believing Symonds would be a major distraction.
But his psychologist, Deidre Anderson, who helped Ian Thorpe reach his decision to retire from swimming, said Symonds was ready to overcome his problems and return to peak form.
Support was also coming from Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke who said he”d been in contact with Symonds and endorsed skipper Ricky Ponting’’s desire to have the all-rounder back in the team.
“As Ricky said (we are) looking forward to him coming back,” said Clarke.
“As we”ve all made clear we love having Symo in the team. He’’s a wonderful player, he’’s a fantastic guy but at the moment he’’s got a few things on. As players, it’’s important we leave it to Cricket Australia,” he added. (ANI)

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