Symonds reveals reasons for World T20 axe

The 34-year-old Andrew Symonds said he felt "caged-in" and feared a mental breakdown due to his inability to cope with the pressure of being a cricket

updated: June 29, 2009 08:12 IST
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Catching a rugby league game at a pub with just pints of beer for company was the reason why Andrew Symonds was dumped from Australia's World Twenty20 squad, the troubled all-rounder has revealed.

Symonds was sent home from the event held in England after breaking an alcohol-related team agreement, Cricket Australia had said at that time.

Opening up about the episode that also cost him his central contract with CA, Symonds said he went out to watch a rugby league match between NSW and Queensland at a pub after the practice match against Bangladesh and returned late, that too drunk.

"I love Origin football and for me, with Origin football comes a few beers. I was wrapped up in watching football and then when I got back (from the pub) I knew then (my career was over)," Symonds revealed in an interview to Channel Nine's '60 Minutes' programme.

The 34-year-old said he felt "caged-in" and feared a mental breakdown due to his inability to cope with the pressure of being an international cricketer.

"It takes it out of you, a little bit at a time. Then there's the build-up from that, and then, boom," Symonds said. "I sit back now and I look at it and I think at some point I was going to blow, I was gonna bust. Whether it was now, or whether it was in two months time," he added.

Symonds said he can understand the anger and frustration among fans about his repeated disciplinary indiscretions. "Yeah I can, because I know how desperately I wanted to play for Australia," he said.

"Still to this day I realise how lucky I am (to have played for Australia)."

But the burly Queenslander insisted he was not an alcoholic.

"I would drink too much, too fast, too quickly. I admit that too fast, too much became not too good to be around ... aggressive," he said.