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Page last updated at 08:06 GMT, Monday, 10 November 2008

Symonds returns to Australia fold

Andrew Symonds
Symonds missed Australia's tour of India as a result of his fishing trip

Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds will make his return to the national side in a Twenty20 challenge match against an All-Star XI on Friday.

Symonds, 33, was sent home from Australia's series against Bangladesh in late August for skipping a team meeting to go fishing.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Symonds had completed "the prescribed welfare process".

The match serves as a warm-up for a two-Test series against New Zealand.

Sutherland said Symonds had worked hard to regain his place in the team, having also been omitted from the squad for Australia's tour of India.

"I have been in regular contact with Andrew over the last month or so," said Sutherland.

"He has made significant progress during his enforced lay-off and we are happy that he is now available to be selected for Australia again."

Symonds had earlier vowed to improve his behaviour, insisting he would emerge "a better person" after being dropped.

"I'm in a position of responsibility, I can't live irresponsibly," he said in September. "I've realised that and it's probably taken me longer than it should have."

Symonds has previously courted controversy over his behaviour. In 2005 he was left out of a one-day match, also against Bangladesh, having turned up for the game under the influence of alcohol.

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Friday's match sees Australia face a team selected by the Australian Cricketers' Association at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season, with several alterations to account for availability.

"As some of the original team members have retired and others have been selected in the Australian team, we have used the opportunity to add legends Adam Gilchrist and Justin Langer to the side, in addition to three players who are currently playing outstanding interstate cricket," said ACA president Darren Lehman.

Michael Clarke will captain the Australia team with Ricky Ponting rested ahead of the New Zealand series, which begins on 20 November in Brisbane.

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see also
Symonds vows to improve behaviour
16 Sep 08 |  Australia
Symonds left to rue fishing trip
30 Aug 08 |  Australia
Symonds escapes streaker censure
05 Mar 08 |  Cricket

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