Melbourne:Controversial all-rounder Andrew Symonds on Sunday tendered a public apology for his bizarre "lump of s**t" jibe at New Zealand's Brendon McCullum even as Cricket Australia said it will launch an investigation into the incident on Tuesday.
Symonds made the comments live on air on radio station network 'Triple M' on Friday while taking a swipe at NSW for signing McCullum at the expense of a local player for the KFC Big Bash Twenty20 final against Victoria.
"They're trying to use him (McCullum) as the out because he's a Kiwi. Yep, we love to hate them, but he's the lump of s..., sorry, lump of cow dirt, that people are thinking of," he had told the show hosts.
Reports said Symonds, whose latest misadventure being the fourth such incident since last August, was out drinking at a pub prior to the six-minute radio interview but the apology through his management on Sunday, however, referred mainly to McCullum but not the drinking.
"I wish to sincerely apologise to Brendon McCullum for my comments during the radio interview with Roy and HG on Friday afternoon," the statement read.
"My intentions for this interview were light-hearted and my comments no way reflect the respect that I have for McCullum both on and off the field.
"I understand how this has been received differently to the way in which I intended to express myself and for that I am extremely sorry. I wish Brendon nothing but success in his cricket and for the future."
CA General Manager of public affairs Peter Young said Chief Executive Michael Brown would on Tuesday listen to the audio file of Symonds radio rant and decide if explanation should be sought from the all-rounder.
"I've heard the interview. I've sent the audio file to Michael Brown. He will listen to the tape on Tuesday and determine if anything needs to be done," said Young.
"There's no need to rush it any faster than that. Michael will talk to James Sutherland and make a decision sometime this week on what, if anything, he needs to do next," he said.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting said he was curious to hear Symonds' views on the matter but indicated his controversial team-mate should have avoided such incidents.
"I'd like to have a good conversation with him about the whole situation, as part of leadership group in the Australian team that's part of my job to do that," Ponting said.
"I know James Sutherland and Michael Brown have been out of office and I think they're meeting on the whole scenario on Tuesday so by then we'll have a clearer picture. I'd like to consider if I was in that situation I wouldn't have done that, so Andrew's going to have a look at that radio interview and work out for himself if he's done something wrong.
"He's not part of our current set-up and I don't think there's ever been anything in place to say he can't actually go out and have a drink. Does he need more rehab? That's up to him and his counsellor to work out," Ponting said.
As for Symonds' international future, Ponting was unequivocal that the big Queenslander was a vital cog of the Australian team.
"(He's vital), in all three forms of game. He has been for us over last three or four seasons in one-day cricket and last two in Tests he's been a vital cog in our side," Ponting was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press (AAP).
"No one can ever doubt his cricket ability and talent and his match-winning abilities, so hopefully everything keeps progressing with him and his fitness and we can get to the bottom of this issue and move on and let him worry about his cricket."