Symonds denies involvement in pub brawl

Andrew Symonds denied involvement in a drunken brawl in Brisbane, a claim backed by the manager of the hotel where the altercation reportedly took place.

updated: November 24, 2008 13:56 IST
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Troubled Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds on Monday denied involvement in a drunken brawl in Brisbane, a claim backed by the manager of the hotel where the altercation reportedly took place.

"It has been reported that last night I was involved in a pub fight and I would just like to take the opportunity to clarify this report," said Symonds, who returned to the Australia side for the ongoing Test series against New Zealand.

"A member of the public acted unreasonably towards me while I was with friends at which time I took steps to remove myself from the situation.

"The member of the public was subsequently removed from the premises as a result of his actions. I was sharing some drinks with other players and close friends and did not in anyway provoke this situation," the all-rounder clarified.

Media reports here claimed that Symonds, who has just returned to the national side after missing the India tour, was allegedly involved in a fight at a pub in Brisbane.

"Symonds was understood to have been drinking at the popular Normanby Hotel in Red Hill with several members of the Australian rugby league team when the fight commenced.

"The incident is believed to have occurred on Sunday evening, about six hours after the Australian cricket team sealed a 149-run victory over New Zealand in the first Test at the Gabba, and involved a confrontation between Symonds and a member of the public," 'Sydney Morning Herald' reported.

Symonds also rubbished reports that he was undergoing treatment for alcohol addiction.

"I would also like to take the opportunity to clarify reports last week that I am being treated for alcohol addiction. I am being treated for a stress related illness and I remain committed to dealing with these issues," Symonds said.

The all-rounder was also defended by hotel manager Mark Lassman who was present during the incident.

"A patron at the hotel attempted to hug and take a picture of Andrew Symonds while he was at the hotel on Sunday night," he said in a statement.

"Symonds declined the invitation, further to that the member of the public continued to harass Symonds. Security guards then asked the patron to leave for inappropriate behaviour," he said.

"... and this is one situation that neither got out of hand, or was Andrew's or the hotel's fault."

The hotel manager also made no mention of the alleged fight that was reported to have occurred between Symonds and the patron.

Cricket Australia though said they would be looking at the issue.

"We are getting as much information as possible to establish what did and did not happen. We understand there was an altercation," a CA spokesman said.