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Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 16:38 UK

Symonds axed from Australia squad

Symonds has let the team down - Ponting

Australia have sent Andrew Symonds home from the World Twenty20 tournament in England for disciplinary reasons.

Cricket Australia said the decision had been taken after the controversial all-rounder, 33, broke team rules relating to alcohol and other issues.

"In isolation the breaches are not serious, but in the scheme of history, they are enough to be the final straw," said CA chief James Sutherland.

Cameron White will replace Symonds, who is not part of Australia's Ashes squad.

The 25-year-old White has played seven Twenty20 internationals, scoring a total of 152 runs with a highest score of 40 not out.

Queenslander Symonds had been seen as a key member of Australia's Twenty20 squad because of his powerful hitting following his return to the international scene after a spell away because of previous disciplinary issues.

Andrew Symonds
Symonds played in a warm-up game against New Zealand on Tuesday

He attended a dinner at a London hotel on Wednesday night with the rest of the squad but was absent from training at The Oval on Thursday.

And Sutherland hinted that this latest incident could spell the end of Symonds' 11-year international career.

"We will take the offer of a Cricket Australia contract we made to him off the table and reconsider our decision over the coming days," he said.

"In the last 24-48 hours he has broken a number of team rules.

"In the context of commitments Andrew has made to his team-mates and to Cricket Australia in the last six months, it's the last straw. Unfortunately, it's a constant balancing act and it's just tipped too far.

Symonds behaviour the 'final straw' - James Sutherland

"Andrew is very disappointed and understandably upset. I'm disappointed in Andrew and I'm disappointed for Andrew. I'm quite sad about it."

And captain Ricky Ponting, while echoing those comments, said Australia had to move on and maintain their focus on the World Twenty20 tournament.

"We're a little disappointed with the events of the last 24 hours and losing one of the best Twenty20 players in the world is disappointing," he said.

"But he broke a number of commitments that he made to himself and the team. They were not commitments forced upon him by us. He's let himself down and the team down.

"But we're moving on and preparing as well as we can for Saturday's game (against West Indies).

"It throws the balance of the side a bit and we're going to have to re-jig it a bit, but we've got the flexibility in the squad to do that."

England's Andrew Flintoff - sacked as vice-skipper and banned for a match at the 2007 World Cup for the infamous pedalo incident after a drinking session - believes his former team-mate at Lancashire will bounce back.

Nobody's perfect, but he's been given lots of opportunities and there's a limit to how many mistakes you can make

Former Australia bowler Geoff Lawson

"He is an amazingly talented player and him going home will be detrimental to the tournament," Flintoff, currently recovering from a knee injury, told BBC Sport.

"People want to watch the likes of Andrew Symonds. He plays competitively and it's sad for him and the tournament.

"I'm sure he'll be back. He's far too good and far too strong-willed to let this upset him too much."

However, former Australia bowler Geoff Lawson thinks the decision to remove Symonds from the Twenty20 squad signals the end of his international career.

Lawson told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Nobody's perfect, but he's been given lots of opportunities and there's a limit to how many mistakes you can make in the context of professional sport.

"There was lots of criticism anyway that he wasn't playing well enough to be selected for the tour.

"I don't think he'll play international cricket again."

Symonds, who was born in Birmingham, England but taken to Australia while still a child, has been involved in a string of off-field misdemeanours in recent years.

He has a history of drinking-related problems, stretching back to the 2005 tour to England when he was dropped for two one-day internationals after turning up drunk to a match against Bangladesh in Cardiff.

In August 2008, he was sent home from Australia's one-day series against Bangladesh in Darwin after missing a compulsory team meeting in order to go fishing.


The following month he was advised to get psychological help and attend a rehabilitation programme, overseen by Cricket Australia medical staff.

In November, however, he had to issue an apology after he went out drinking with members of the Australian rugby league side and was involved in an incident at a Brisbane hotel.

And in January this year he was fined by Cricket Australia for a remark he made about New Zealand's Brendon McCullum during a radio interview.

Symonds has played 26 Tests, 198 one-day internationals and 14 Twenty20 matches for Australia..

He has scored 1,462 Test runs at an average of 40.61, with a best score of 162 not out and taken 24 wickets at 37.33, with a best return of 3-50.

In the 50-over format of the game, he has scored 5,088 runs at 39.75 with a top score of 156. His 133 wickets have come at 37.25 apiece with 5-18 his best showing.

In Twenty20 internationals he has smashed 337 runs off 199 balls with his average of 48.14 bolstered by his highest score of 85 not out. He has taken just eight wickets in his 14 games at 34.62.

Cricket Australia has approached the International Cricket Council about organising a possible replacement for Symonds with Moises Henriques and Cameron White among the likely candidates.

Australia start their World Twenty20 campaign against West Indies at The Oval on Saturday.

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see also
Symonds misses out on Ashes squad
20 May 09 |  Australia
Symonds given Australia contract
14 May 09 |  Australia
Symonds picked for World Twenty20
05 May 09 |  Australia
Flintoff 'ashamed' by Cup antics
19 Mar 07 |  England
Symonds fined over radio remarks
29 Jan 09 |  Australia
Symonds returns to Australia fold
10 Nov 08 |  Australia
Symonds regrets drinking session
26 Nov 08 |  Australia
Symonds vows to improve behaviour
16 Sep 08 |  Australia
Symonds left to rue fishing trip
30 Aug 08 |  Australia
Symonds counts cost of late night
19 Jun 05 |  Cricket

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