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Symonds mulls quitting cricket
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September 01, 2008 12:28 IST

As concerns are raised over his commitment towards the national team, disillusioned Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds [Images] is unsure if he would tour India for a four-Test series next month and is mulling retirement from international cricket.

"I have been asked to think about what is important to me and I will take this time to do that," said the 33-year-old Symonds, who is miffed at being sent home by the Cricket Australia [Images] for going on a 'fishing trip' instead of attending a compulsory team meeting last week.

"I would ask that during this time, people respect my privacy and that of my friends and family," he was quoted as saying by the Courier Mail on Monday.

"I would like to say thanks for the many messages of support I have received over the past day or so," he added."

His manager Matt Fearon said Symonds wants to resume playing, but is unsure whether he would be available for the Test series in India next month.

"Andrew's going to take some time to reflect on what's happened. He's still committed to playing cricket at the highest level," he said in another media report.

Symonds' decision and its timing would be of a great significance to the Australians as the squad for the tour of India would be picked in next two weeks.

Australia's stand-in skipper Michael Clarke [Images] has questioned Symonds' commitment and claimed he needs time away from the game to get his act together.

It is not the first time Symonds has thought of quitting cricket.

He had contacted Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett and talked about reinventing himself as a rugby league player in 2002.

Symonds also has a long history of disciplinary dramas, the most serious when he was nearly sent home from the Ashes in 2005 for turning up drunk for a one-dayer against Bangladesh in Cardiff.

He spent difficult 12 months when he felt he was let down by the CA over last summer's race row with India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh [Images].

Harbhajan, who allegedly called Symonds a "monkey" during the Sydney Test, eventually got off with a slap on the wrist after the charge was downgraded.

Symonds felt his employer had failed to use its muscle to ensure Harbhajan was given a just penalty.

Batsman Mike Hussey [Images] also said Symonds was missed in Saturday's win over Bangladesh in the opening one-dayer.

"He's had success there and is a very good player of spin, and that is important," Hussey said and added  "I hope [he can return]. I certainly do. He's an integral part of the team, a great guy to have around.

"But we need him 100 per cent committed to the team, and I'm hoping he can sort out any issues he's got going on."

Symonds' latest disciplinary lapse has disappointed his two greatest allies, captain Ricky Ponting [Images] and Clarke, the acting skipper in Darwin. They, along with coach Tim Nielsen, decided enough was enough.

The leadership group had tired of several recent incidents, which showed Symonds put himself first.

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