Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Symonds Ruled out of Twenty20

Australia all-rounder Andrew Symonds' international career appears over after he was sent home from the World Twenty20 due to an "alcohol-related incident".

Symonds, 34 next week, was due to fly back to Australia at the first opportunity after contravening the self-imposed guidelines set upon his return to the green and gold ranks this year.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland yesterday termed the development, which included more than one breach in the past few days, as the "final straw".

His disciplining is the latest in a string of career indiscretions, including being banned for two matches during the 2005 Ashes tour after turning up inebriated for a one-day international against Bangladesh in Cardiff.

"There are a number of his own commitments that he has broken over the last 24-48 hours," said Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

"They are not anything we forced upon him, they were his own commitments, that he was going to live by around the team and they were team rule breaches.

"There was more than one thing that happened and from me, I think it's best just leaving it at that."

Symonds was not at yesterday morning's net session at the Oval.

Sutherland, who announced Symonds' release from Australia's 15-man squad from Melbourne, said: "The breach of team rules of itself was not a major offence but was in effect the final straw after a series of previous indiscretions and in the light of the undertakings Andrew had given.”

He was on his last chance after the Darwin fishing saga in August last year, during which he missed a team meeting before the one-day series against Bangladesh, and led to him being thrown out of the squad.

In January this year, Symonds conceded alcohol was playing a big part in his life during an apology for the drunken slur he aimed at New Zealand's Brendon McCullum during a radio interview - he was hit with a fine of approximately £2,000.

He was reprieved when he was named in Australia's preliminary 30-man squad for this current tournament.

He will be replaced in England by Cameron White.

--

INDIA

Captain: Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Key player: Yuvraj Singh.

Strength: Yuvraj, Sehwag, Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Raina, Sharma – and that’s just the main batsmen for the holders.

Weakness: Bowlers are vulnerable and could give batsmen too much to do, on a very bad day.

Prediction: Winners.

BANGLADESH

Captain: Mohammad Ashraful.

Key player: Shakib Al Hasan.

Strength: Quick scorers at the top of the order can get them off to a good start.

Weakness: Not used to English conditions and inexperienced in international Twenty20 cricket.

Prediction: Super Eight exit.

IRELAND

Captain: William Porterfield.

Key player: Niall O’Brien.

Strength: Depth of batting can stand them in good stead and Johnston and McCallan are class bowlers.

Weakness: Lack of firepower in the batting means they will struggle to post a winning score.

Prediction: First round exit.

PAKISTAN

Captain: Younis Khan.

Key player: Shahid Afridi.

Strength: Most of the team that reached the inaugural World T20 final are back determined to go one better.

Weakness: In the international wilderness since the Lahore bomb so a lack of recent top level cricket.

Prediction: Super Eight exit.

ENGLAND

Captain: Paul Collingwood.

Key player: Kevin Pietersen.

Strength: Home advantage and a bowling attack which can give their batsmen a winning total.

Weakness: Still don’t know their best T20 players at the top of the order so could lose early wickets.

Prediction: Super Eight exit.

NETHERLANDS

Captain: Jeroen Smits.

Key player: Dirk Nannes.

Strength: Nannes’ pace is up there with any of the bowlers in the tournament and could cause problems.

Weakness: Not enough quality players for this level and inexperienced in Twenty20 cricket.

Prediction: First round exit.

AUSTRALIA

Captain: Ricky Ponting.

Key player: Michael Clarke

Strength: Most of the squad have been there and done it before in the Test and ODI arena.

Weakness: Not as successful in shortest form of the game and loss of big names leaves them fallible.

Prediction: Beaten finalists.

SRI LANKA

Captain: Kumar Sangakkara.

Key player: Sanath Jayasuriya.

Strength: Proven combination of exciting batsmen and quality bowling, with Muralitharan back in the team.

Weakness: Lack of consistency and in toughest of the four initial groups so will need to hit ground running.

Prediction: Beaten semi-finalists.

WEST INDIES

Captain: Chris Gayle.

Key player: Chris Gayle.

Strength: Game short enough for Gayle to win a match on his own and Chanderpaul remains class act.

Weakness: Too reliant on Gayle’s power hitting and team’s bowling has been found wanting in warm-ups.

Prediction: First round exit.

NEW ZEALAND

Captain: Daniel Vettori.

Key player: Jesse Ryder.

Strength: In Vettori they have the best slow bowler in T20 cricket and a host of big hitting batsmen.

Weakness: Pace bowling could struggle to take wickets and even restrict strong batting line-ups.

Prediction: Beaten semi-finalists.

SOUTH AFRICA

Captain: Graeme Smith.

Key player: Dale Steyn.

Strength: Many of squad are ‘match-fit’ in Twenty20 cricket after hosting recent IPL.

Weakness: Sameness about the seam attack and doubts about slow bowler Johan Botha’s action.

Prediction: Super Eight exit.

SCOTLAND

Captain: Gavin Hamilton.

Key player: Gavin Hamilton.

Strength: Gavin Hamilton, Kyle Coetzer and Navdeep Poonia have played county cricket.

Weakness: Poor form going into the tournament (even lost to the Dutch) and best bowler John Blain walked out on squad.

Prediction: First round exit.

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