SYDNEY: Australian allrounder Andrew Symonds says he is not an alcoholic but has blamed binge drinking for poor behavior that caused him to run afoul of cricket authorities.
“I’m not proud of the times that I’ve drunk too much and been rude to someone or broken team rules,” Symonds said in an interview with the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes television program today. “Now I’m out of that environment, that won’t happen anymore for those people in that team and for me.”
Cricket Australia this month withdrew its one-year contract offer to Symonds, a week after the 34-year-old veteran was sent home from England and the Twenty20 World Cup following another alcohol-related indiscretion.
Symonds helped Deccan Chargers win the second edition of the IPL last month in South Africa. With an IPL annual contract worth more than $1.3 million, he is one of the highest-paid players in the league.
Last September, he was ordered to undergo counseling after being expelled from the squad for going fishing instead of attending a team meeting ahead of a limited-overs series against Bangladesh. He briefly returned for a series against New Zealand. Days after his November recall, he was involved in a bar fight with a drunken fan, although he was later cleared of wrongdoing.