Symonds flattens ’streaking’ spectator

March 4th, 2008 - 10:38 pm ICT by admin  

Brisbane, March 4 (IANS) Andrew Symonds may well have landed himself in yet another controversy, even as Australians were at the losing end of the second of three Commonwealth Bank series finals on Tuesday. In what the Melbourne Age called “…perhaps the most overtly hostile act of all”, Symonds clashed not with an Indian, but with another Queenslander.

Symonds, never far from controversy this season, delivered an almighty shoulder charge to a streaker. He landed the man flat on his back and himself, quite possibly, in hot water.

Queensland police have said Symonds could be charged with assault if a complaint was made. “I think Symonds may have a real problem if the man decides to make a complaint,” said Brisbane lawyer Neil Lawler, principal of Bell Miller Solicitors.

“Symonds has no right to assault any person that enters the field. Andrew Symonds isn’t a policeman. Even a policeman must use reasonable force. I think Symonds is a champion cricketer, but that’s reckless,” Lawler said.

Another high-profile sports lawyer said Symonds could not claim a citizen’s arrest because his actions were “a clear assault”.

Under the International Cricket Council code of conduct, “physical assault on another player, umpire, referee, official or spectator” during play is a level four offence, which can carry a ban of five Tests, 10 or more one-day matches or even life.

The streaker was unlikely to make a successful damages claim unless he was severely injured. There was no indication he was hurt. The 26-year-old Brisbane man was held overnight and will face court this morning on charges of wilful exposure and interfering with a person engaged in sport. He faces a potential fine of $3,000 for the invasion.

Cricket Australia and the ICC said Symonds, who showed promise as a young rugby league player, would not face a reprimand. “Symonds was out there doing his best to try to save and win a critical match, he doesn’t deserve to be interrupted by spectators while he is trying to do that,” said CA spokesman Peter Young.

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