Symonds penalised for 'lump of shit' comment

Published: Thursday, January 29, 2009, 10:39 [IST]
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Symonds fined 4000 dollars for McCullum radio rant

Melbourne: Controversial Australian all rounder Andrew Symonds was fined 4000 dollars on Thursday for his alcohol-fuelled weekend radio rant against Kiwi wicket-keeper batsman and New South Wales Twenty20 player Brendon McCullum.

A Cricket Australia (CA) code of conduct commission hearing today upheld a charge that Symonds had breached the CA code of behaviour relating to detrimental public comment. Symonds pleaded guilty, the Courier Mail reported.

Code of conduct senior commissioner Gordon Lewis issued the fine after CA reported Symonds for the breach following an FM radio interview in which Symonds made a "lump of shit" comment about McCullum.

On Wednesday, Symonds opted to travel to Melbourne to face Cricket Australia"s disciplinary hearing in connection with his "lump of shit " radio jibe at 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 said he would 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."

Australian Cricket Association legal counsel Michael Abrahams represented Symonds. The code of behavior 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.

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.


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