Melbourne:Cricket Australia on Wednesday justified its decision of not considering Andrew Symonds for the tour of Australia, saying that it was in the "best interest" of the controversial all rounder.
"It is a tough stance but an appropriate stance in the circumstances," said CA chief executive James Sutherland.
"It can be looked at as a sanction but I would prefer to look at this as a decision in the best interests of Andrew Symonds as well. He will benefit from some concentrated counselling over this period before he goes on tour again with the Australian cricket team," he was quoted as saying in the local media.
Sutherland said the 33-year-old Symonds, who is undergoing rehabilitation, was infact thankful to have escaped the sack, after his latest remarks to New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum.
Symonds was fined $4000 for describing McCullum as "a lump of sh.." during a radio interview with comedians Roy and HG, during which the cricketer sounded as if he had been drinking.
"Whilst he is disappointed that he is not able to be selected for the South Africa tour, he is at the same time grateful that he is still a contracted Cricket Australia player," Sutherland said.
The CA Chief Executive hinted that Symonds's career will go on the line again before the ODI series against Pakistan in April, around the time the next round of CA contracts is announced.