Andrew Symonds (born 9 June
1975, Birmingham, England) is former
Australian cricket team all-rounder.
A two-time World Cup
winner, Symonds is a
right-handed middle order batsman and alternates between medium pace
and off-spin bowling.
Since mid-2008, he spent most of the time out of the team, due to
disciplinary reasons, including alcohol. In June 2009 he was sent
home from the 2009 World
, his third suspension, expulsion or exclusion from
selection in the space of a year. His central contract was then
withdrawn, and many cricket analysts have speculated that the
Australian administrators will no longer tolerate him, and that
Symonds may announce his retirement.
One of Symonds' biological parents was of West Indian background.
Symonds' adoptive parents Ken and Barbara moved to Australia
shortly after his adoption, when he was three months old. He has
two non-adopted siblings. He spent the early part of his childhood in
Towers, northern Queensland, where his father Ken taught at the private fee
paying All Souls St Gabriels School, which Andrew attended.
He showed sporting prowess from a very early age. "Dad was cricket
mad. He’d throw balls to me five or six days a week, before school,
after school. And we’d play all sorts of games inside the house
with ping-pong balls and Christmas decorations." Much of his junior
cricket was played in Townsville for the Wanderers club, father and son making the
270-kilometre return trip sometimes twice a week.
later moved to the Gold
, where his parents were on the staff of All Saints Anglican School
. Symonds was a student
at the school.
Overview of cricket career
Symonds is an aggressive right-handed
who can also bowl off spin
medium pace, making him a good all-rounder
. He is an exceptional fielder
, with a report prepared by Cricinfo
in late 2005 showing that since the
1999 Cricket World Cup
had effected the fifth equal most run-outs
cricket of any
fieldsman, with the fourth highest success rate. He is very agile
for his size and weight (medium-heavy build; 187 cm tall), has
excellent reflexes, is able to take catches well and has a powerful
and accurate throwing arm. His nickname is Roy, shortened from the name
Leroy, after a coach from early in his career believed he resembled
local Brisbane NBL hero Leroy Loggins.
In 1995, after playing in
his first season for English county Gloucestershire, Symonds won
the Cricket Writer's Club Young Cricketer of the Year award.
Shortly afterwards Symonds was selected as part of the England A
team that was to tour
Pakistan in the winter, however, he decided not to go, instead
choosing to pursue an international career for Australia. His place
on the tour was later taken by Middlesex player, Jason Pooley
Australian State Cricket
Since making his debut for the Queensland state team
in the 1994–95 season
Symonds has scored more than 5,000 runs and taken more than 100
wickets for his state. Symonds scored 113 and took four wickets in
a losing cause in the Sheffield
final in 1999 and was named Man of the Match
in the 2002 Pura Cup
final after scoring 123 runs and taking
Symonds has played for three English counties during his career—
. Symonds first
appearance for an English county was with Gloucestershire.
Initially he was considered an England-qualified player, however,
following his first season of county cricket in 1995 he declared
that his allegiances lay with Australia when he chose not to tour
Pakistan with the England A team.
It was in
this season though that he hit a record 16 sixes in his unbeaten
254 against Glamorgan at Abergavenny.
In doing so, he beat the previous mark set
by New Zealand's John R. Reid
reported that the 16th six "landed on a tennis court about over
and "though he was undoubtedly helped by the
short boundaries, it would have been a hugely effective innings on
any ground in the world".
Symonds added four more sixes in the
second innings, to beat the old record of 17 in a match, set by
Warwickshire's Jim Stewart
at Blackpool in 1959.
Between 1999 and 2004 Symonds played for Kent. One of the
highlights of his time there came on 2 July 2004, when he hit a
43-ball 112 for Kent Spitfires in a Twenty20 Cup
match against Middlesex Crusaders
In July 2005 he signed for Lancashire for the rest of the English
season having finished duties as part of Australia's ODI
Indian Premier League
February 2008 Symonds signed up with the IPL franchise Deccan Chargers from Hyderabad for US$1,350,000 making him the
second most expensive player in the league.
The same team
also secured Australian team-mate Adam
700,000. The IPL
commenced on 18 April 2008. On 24
April 2008 Symonds made 117 not out off 53 balls against the
. The Royals ended
up winning that match as Symonds bowled the last over and conceded
19 runs when the Royals required 17 runs from six balls. He missed
most of the second season of the IPL due to International
commitments. However, he played a crucial part in the triumph of
his team towards the end of the season.
Although Symonds was originally qualified to play for England
due to it being the country of
his birth, in 1995 he decided that he wished to pursue an
international career for Australia instead. His international debut
came on 10 November 1998, when he played in a One Day International
Australia against Pakistan at Lahore. As an ODI player, he is known
for scoring runs at an excellent strike rate
of over 90, with a highest
score of 156. He cemented his place in the team in Australia's
opening match of the 2003 Cricket
, where he scored 143* to guide Australia from 4/86 to
8/310. Symonds is sometimes branded as a one-day International
'specialist' as his ODI record with both ball and bat are far
better than that of his Test match averages.
In March 2004, Symonds made his long-awaited Test debut in
Australia's tour of Sri
after showing great form in one-day international cricket
in 2003. However, he encountered difficulty against Muttiah Muralitharan
on the dusty,
spinning Sri Lankan tracks, failing to pass 25 in any of his four
innings, and was dropped after two Test matches. He was recalled in
November 2005 following the injury to Shane
, as Australia's search for an all-rounder continued.
After five Tests, with a batting average of 12.62 and a bowling
average of 85.00, his position in the team was under a cloud until
the 2005 Boxing Day Test
. On the
first day of the match, he was out caught behind for a golden duck
. Then, with his batting average
threatening to drop under 10 and bowling average pushing 100,
Symonds took 3/50 in the South African
before blasting 72 off 54 balls in the second innings (including a
new Australian record for the fastest Test fifty—40 balls) and
Andrew Symonds batting against South
Africa in 2006
At the 2006 Allan Border Medal
count, Symonds would have won the One Day player of the year award
as he polled the most votes, but was ineligible due to a late night
of drinking which led to him turning up still inebriated to a match
which he was suspended. Symonds won Player of the Series in the
2005–06 Australian VB
While batting in the second Test in the Australian 2006 tour of
South Africa, Symonds was struck in the face of his helmet by a
bouncer off Makhaya Ntini
required four stitches on the inside of his upper lip. Struggling
for reliable impact, Symonds was again dropped at the end of this
Following the retirement of Damien
during the Ashes in 2006–07 Symonds was again recalled
to the team. Scoring just 26 and 2 in his first Test back he found
himself under pressure to justify his place in the team. In the
Boxing Day Test Symonds faced his biggest challenge when arriving
at the crease with Australia in deep trouble at 5/84. After a slow
start to his innings he proceeded to score his first Test century,
combining with his good friend Matthew
to put on a 279 run partnership and bringing up the
century with a six. Symonds was finally dismissed for 156.
Andrew Symonds on the way to his maiden Test hundred
Although selected in Australia's 15-member World Cup squad he was
unavailable for selection for the first few matches because he
ruptured his biceps
while batting against
England on 2 February 2007 in the Commonwealth Bank Tri
. Surgery was performed and Symonds underwent extensive
physical rehabilitation. As a result he missed the remainder of
that tournament as well as the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy
in New Zealand
while Australia suffered their longest losing streak in over a
decade. Symonds remarkably made a relatively quick recovery after
returning for Australia's win in their last preliminary World Cup
match against South
. He bowled the final ball of the 2007 Cricket World Cup
hosted in the West Indies.The final was contested between Australia
and Sri Lanka and was shortened to 38/36 overs per side due to rain
throughout the day. Even the final few overs of the Sri Lanka
innings were played in almost darkness.
Allegations of racial taunts
crowds at the One Day Series in Vadodara, Nagpur and Mumbai were seen to
offend Symonds with monkey chants.
After the BCCI initially
denied the incident at Vadodara took place, further incidents
occurred at the other grounds in the series.
During Sri Lanka's tour of Australia in 2007-08 he had good form
with the bat but had an ankle injury which ruled him out of the
rest of the Test series.
During the second
Test against India
on 2 January 2008 Symonds completed his
second Test century, coming to the crease with Australia at 4/119.
When Michael Clarke
and then Adam Gilchrist
dismissed in quick succession Australia found themselves in poor
shape at 6/134. Symonds and Brad
Hogg put on a record 7th wicket partnership at the S.C.G (also a record for Australia vs. India) of 173
until Hogg was dismissed for 79.
Symonds was the beneficiary
in the course of his innings. At stumps
on the first day, Symonds was not out on 137, and Australia 376/7.
By the end of the innings, Symonds finished on 162 not out, when
the Australians were finally bowled out for 463. In January 2008,
Indian spin bowler Harbhajan Singh
received a three-match ban after a complaint that he had racially
abused Symonds during the third day of the Second Test at the SCG.
It was alleged that Harbhajan called Symonds a "monkey" after
Symonds confronted him over touching fellow Australian player
. The case was decided by the
match referee, Mike Procter
, in a
hearing held after the match.The BCCI
lodged an appeal
against the decision. On January 29, 2008, after the hearing of the
appeal, at Adelaide by ICC appeals commissioner John Hansen
, the racism charge on
Harbhajan Singh was not proved and the three Test ban was lifted.
However, a lesser charge (Level 2.8 offense) of using abusive
language was applied and Harbhajan was fined 50% of his match fee.
Hansen later admitted that he "could have imposed a more serious
penalty if he was made aware by the ICC of the bowler's previous
transgressions"—including a suspended one Test Match ban. The ICC
claimed the "database and human errors ... played a part in
Harbhajan Singh escaping a more severe penalty during his appeal
hearing in Adelaide".Hansen also criticised Symonds in his report
accusing him of swearing at Harbhajan after a friendly gesture by
Harbhajan towards Brett Lee
. Also it was
reported that senior players had written a letter to John Hansen
requesting a downgrading of the charge. The letter was signed by
and Ricky Ponting
and counter-signed by Michael Clarke
, Matthew Hayden
and Andrew Symonds. The stump
microphone audio from immediately after the alleged incident
between Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds was released by Channel
During the second final of the 2007-08 Commonwealth Bank
against India on 4 March 2008, Symonds shoulder charged
a male streaker
who had entered the playing
arena. Symonds, who had once considered a career in rugby league
with the Brisbane Broncos
, may have faced assault
charges had the man taken legal action.
Darwin during the One Day Series against Bangladesh in August/September 2008, he left the team to do
some fishing, while the Australian cricket team was at a compulsory
team meeting and was ordered to be sent home by the coach and
acting captain Michael Clarke.
Controversy and dismissal
was set to play for Australia in the August 2008 series against
Bangladesh in Darwin, but was sent home to Queensland after missing the team meeting on the Friday while out fishing.
Stand-in captain Michael Clarke told
the media that Symonds would have to re-evaluate his desire to
represent Australia: "The main concern from us is Andrew's
commitment, to playing for this team and, in my opinion and I know
the rest of the leadership team's opinion, you need to be committed
100 per cent."
He was also not selected for the Australian tour to India in
October 2008, as further punishment for his misadventure. After
Australia's two-nil series loss, however, he quickly become an
integral part of its future plans and was selected to play the Test
Series against New Zealand in November. He did not play any
significant role in the First Test, which Australia won, but at the
end of the Test, on 22 November, was
involved in an incident in a Brisbane pub and reported to have been
involved in a brawl with another patron who had attempted to hug
and have his photo taken with the cricketer.
subsequently cleared by Cricket Australia to play in the Second
He then played in the first two Tests of the next series against
South Africa but performed poorly and was omitted from the team for
the Third Test due to injury; at the same time, many critics called
for his omission on performance grounds.
January 2009, Symonds gave an interview with sports comedians
Roy & HG, in which he made remarks
about the acquisition of New Zealand cricketer Brendon
McCullum by the New South Wales Blues to play in KFC Twenty20 final
against Victoria, despite McCullum's not having played at all for
the Blues previously.
Sounding intoxicated, Symonds called
McCullum a "lump of shit", and declared that having dinner at the
home of team-mate Matthew Hayden
enjoyable because he could glance at Hayden's wife. He was charged
by Cricket Australia with violating its code of conduct and was
fined, following a hearing with Cricket Australia chief Michael
Brown over the 25-minute radio appearance. As a result he was also
barred from selection for a period until he was deemed to have been
In the meantime, he continued to play for Queensland, but was
overlooked for Australia's ongoing international matches. He was
finally recalled in April to play ODIs against Pakistan.
He was not selected in the 2009 Ashes squad, however, Shane Watson
, Andrew McDonald
and Marcus North
getting the nod instead. In early
June 2009, Symonds was sent home from the ICC World Twenty20
tournament in England
following a late-night drinking episode after a team dinner.
a press conference to announce Symonds' dismissal, which is likely
to mark the end of his international cricket career. His Cricket
Australia contract was also reviewed and later cancelled.
In June 2009
, Symonds told Channel Nine
's Sixty Minutes
that he was not an alcoholic
but merely a binge-drinker
. "I go out and drink hard all
in one hit—too fast, too much," he said.
Symonds has been a keen supporter of the Brisbane Broncos
since childhood and was
considering a switch of codes to play rugby
in 2002, but ultimately decided to stay in cricket. On
21 June 2009 he played a game of rugby
for the Wynnum Manly
against a rugby league all star team featuring some of
rugby leagues best players including Marcus
and Steve Renouf
. He has also
been part of the Brisbane Broncos
in the part and considered playing the game a couple of years
Against Sri Lanka Galle,
- Best Test bowling figures: 3/50 (South Africa, Melbourne, MCG,
- Best Test batting score: 162* (India, Sydney, SCG, 3 January
Against Pakistan, Lahore,
- One-day Internationals
ODI bowling figures: 5/18 (Bangladesh, Manchester, Old Trafford, 2005)
- Best ODI batting score: 156 (New Zealand, Wellington, Westpac
Stadium, 7 December 2005)
- World Records
Symonds holds the world records for the most sixes hit during a
first-class innings (16) and during a first-class match (20), both
set while playing for Gloucestershire against Glamorgan as a 20
year old. His first innings score was 254 not out.
- Nation adopts a timely hero -
- Fox Sports Ashes Player Profiles, retrieved 27
- ABC News (2008). Chargers lose despite Symonds century. Retrieved April
- Cricinfo - Symonds starts to throw
- Cricinfo - Blogs - Cricinfo Select - Most open
tournament yet held
- Symonds hits a streaker for six
- Symonds in hot water for dropping streaker - ABC News
(Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- Quoted in Booth, Lawrence. "Myths; And stereotypes." The Spin, 30 June 2009.