Sydney, Sept 17 : Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds who was sent home from a one-day series against Bangladesh in Darwin, has said that he was seeking professional help to become a better person and vowed to return to the Australian side as a better cricketer. Though, he was non-committal about the timing of his return.
He was sent home after being found on a fishing trip when he should have been attending a compulsory team meeting.
After the episode, being the highest paid overseas player in the Indian Premier League (IPL), with potential earnings of 1.5 million dollars a year from the six-week tournament, there were fears that Symonds may simply walk away from international cricket. However, he refuted such rumours.
Now, he is not expected to tour India, and will instead be expected to prove his worth and reformed character by playing with Queensland while Australia contests a four-Test series in October-November.
He said he can no more afford to behave irresponsibly and would become a better person. "I am going through the process of trying to improve and become not only a better cricketer but a better person. I am in a position of responsibility and I can't live irresponsibly and I've realised that. I've got a bit of improving to do," The Australian quoted him as saying.
One of his problems is too much of alcohol at various times. It had almost cost him his career when he turned up drunk before a one-day match against Bangladesh at Cardiff in 2005 and was on the verge of being sent home. But, it proved to be a lesson not fully learnt.
Despite the stardom and vast wealth that cricket has brought him, Symonds yearns for the quiet life between cricket matches. "My life is a very simple one. You get something cast over you which you have no control of. Being recognised and that sort of thing is something that sometimes I deal with well and other times not as well. I like my time by myself and I like my privacy, but I do love the challenge of cricket and playing for my club and state, and obviously the ultimate challenge playing international cricket for Australia," he said.
Symonds admitted the constant grind of cricket at the top level had taken its toll. "I love the challenge of the battle," he said and added: "What wears us out is the long seasons and you don't get that time at home. I was really enjoying my time at home. You don't want to pack your port and go again because you're so used to being at home and you're enjoying that - that's what I was going through."
Story first published: Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 11:04 [IST]
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