Fishing trip puts Symonds' career in jeopardy

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Sydney, Aug 30 (UNI) Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds' fishing trip at the cost of his team's meeting has put his place in the squad and his international career in jeopardy.

Symonds was expelled for the remainder of the series and has been sent home after he missed the team meeting yesterday, ahead of today's opening match of a three-game One-day series against Bangladesh.

Australia's acting captain Michael Clarke said Symonds could make a return to the team only if he was willing to conform to the team rules.

''It's so hard to play for this team. In my opinion, we are the greatest sporting team in the world, and we have standards,'' Clarke said.

''They may be higher than other teams, but if you don't fulfill those standards, unfortunately, you're not going to be a part of our squad,'' Clarke remarked.

''The main concern for us is Andrew's commitment to playing for this team,'' he said. ''In my opinion and the rest of the leadership group's opinion, you need to be committed 100 per cent to all facets of being an international cricketer.'' After yesterday's incident which has checkered the disciplinary record in the national team, the Cricket Australia has warned Symonds that his playing contract would be torn up if he misbehaved again.

Symonds' worst indiscretion occurred in 2005 when, after an all-night drinking binge, he reported still intoxicated for a limited overs international against Bangladesh in Cardiff. He narrowly avoided being sent home from Australia's Ashes tour of England.

The right-handed batsman was, however, saved by Clarke that time. But Clarke said today that following Australia's easy win in the series opener, that the all-rounder must win back the respect of his teammates and improve his attitude if he is to have an international future.

Coach Tim Nielsen said,''Failure to attend yesterday's team meeting was the last straw after a number of recent incidents which raised doubts about Symonds' commitment to the Australian team.

''He wasn't organised enough to understand his commitments that day,'' Nielsen said.

He added, ''That to me raises concerns about how and what sort of space he is in, in his own mind and that's the discussion we had with him.'' However, Clarke, Nielsen and Australia captain Ricky Ponting agreed Symonds should be sent away from the team.


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