ADELAIDE, Nov 26 Andrew Symonds' international career will continue after Cricket Australia (CA) cleared him of any wrong doing in a widely-reported bar fight.
CA chief executive James Sutherland on Wednesday said he was satisfied that a comprehensive investigation, including statements from hotel management, staff and patrons, supported Symonds' version of an incident involving a drunken fan on the weekend.
A man is reported to have thrown punches at Symonds after the troubled all-rounder declined to have his photograph taken with him on Sunday night. The man was ejected by hotel security staff.
“CA is totally satisfied that Andrew did not provoke that incident and when approached by the patron in question handled himself appropriately,” Sutherland said in a news conference where he sat beside Symonds.
“Whilst Andrew agrees that he should have thought twice about actually going to the hotel, his response when subsequently provoked, was restrained and mature.”
Symonds, 33, was celebrating Australia's first-Test win over New Zealand at a popular Brisbane pub on Sunday evening, along with several team-mates and members of Australia's rugby league team.
Reports of a bar fight emerged on Monday morning and the Cricket Australia investigation continued as Symonds travelled to Adelaide, despite the player's public statement denying any wrong doing.
Symonds, a popular figure in Australia for his big hitting and 'knock about' attitude, will be allowed to play in the second Test against New Zealand starting here at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
However, Sutherland said he was disappointed that Symonds had placed himself in a compromising position so soon after admitting that alcohol had contributed to the off-field problems that led to him being sent home from a series against Bangladesh and barred from last month's four-Test series of India.
Symonds was sent home from the northern city of Darwin in September for going fishing instead of attending a team meeting ahead of the three-match limited-overs series against Bangladesh.
He was ordered to undergo counselling for that and a range of issues, including disenchantment with national cricket authorities over the handling of his racism allegations against Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh in January.
Symonds has a chequered disciplinary record in the national team and was warned in September that his playing contract would be torn up if he misbehaved again.—AP