Symonds - I must be smarter
Andrew Symonds admits he has learnt "a valuable lesson" after being cleared of any wrongdoing following an altercation with a fan.
Last Updated: 26/11/08 6:08pm
Andrew Symonds admits he has learnt "a valuable lesson" after being cleared of any wrongdoing following an altercation with a fan at a Brisbane hotel.
The Australia all-rounder was involved in a scuffle with a fan at the Normanby Hotel, but Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has since confirmed the Queenslander will not be punished.
Despite the incident, Symonds insists he will not stop drinking and socialising in public but admits he will be smarter when it comes to choosing the venue.
"I just need to make clever decisions," he said. "That's why I've got to be smart when I go out and where I go out."
Symonds' explanation of the incident, which has been supported by witnesses and hotel employees, was that he rebuffed a fan who tried to hug him and take a photo.
The fan then reportedly threw a punch at Symonds, who left the hotel soon after the incident and returned to his hotel, with CA opening an investigation the following day.
"I maintain that I acted appropriately while at the hotel, but I regret making the decision to visit the hotel as I realise I put myself in a compromising position," added Symonds.
"I have told my team-mates that I am sorry to have put them through this distraction at a time when they are trying to prepare for a Test match so soon after the Brisbane game, particularly those who were also at the hotel and were named in media reports.
"I have learnt a valuable lesson from this incident and I know that actions speak louder than words and that's how I will be judged."
Australia captain Ricky Ponting insisted Symonds remained an important player in his side
The hosts will look to follow up the 149-run victory over the Black Caps at the Gabba when the second Test gets under way at the Adelaide Oval on Friday.
"We were very impressed with what he did in and around the group up in Brisbane during the game," Ponting said.
"We also identify that yes he made a mistake, he made a wrong decision to do what he did after the game.
"But we were also reasonably impressed that he acted in a sensible way while he was at the pub so Andrew Symonds is definitely worth having around.
"He knows what commitment is required for him to stay around. It can't become any clearer to him than it has been laid to him in the last couple of days."
Ponting said the team and CA were keen to help Symonds overcome his problems and become a "better person".
CA chief executive officer Sutherland revealed an internal investigation had found Symonds had not provoked the incident and had acted in a "restrained and mature" manner.
"Andrew did nothing wrong," Sutherland said. "In fact he coped with a challenging and difficult incident quite admirably.
"The episode was largely harmless but again illustrates the challenge that high-profile athletes from all sports can have when socialising in public places.
"Fans can be over eager about wanting to talk to and mix with their heroes, morning noon and night and on occasions some members of the public do behave inappropriately when seeking to talk to, take photographs or ask for autographs."
Meanwhile, spinner Jason Krejza is a doubt for the second Test against New Zealand after hurting his ankle during a routine training session at the Adelaide Oval.
Krejza was writhing in pain after collapsing during a fielding drill and was helped off the ground by team officials to seek treatment inside the dressing rooms.
Victoria captain Cameron White, who was dropped in Brisbane, could be placed on stand-by should Krejza be ruled out.