x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Baggy green over green dollar

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson believes his teammate Andrew Symonds will return to the international fold.

DARWIN // The Australia all-rounder Shane Watson believes his teammate and close friend Andrew Symonds will return to the international fold. Symonds is contemplating his future as an international cricketer after he was sent home from Australia's one-day international series against Bangladesh for breaking team rules. Symonds, 33, missed a compulsory team meeting, preferring instead to go fishing, which prompted his expulsion from the squad.

Cricket Australia have indicated they want the controversy plagued all-rounder to go away and consider his international future, although some reports suggest Symonds could be prepared to give up his place in the national team and focus solely on playing in the Indian Premier League. And while Watson admits the lure of that cash sum, for just two months' work, is appealing he expects Symonds to return and pull on the baggy green cap again.

"I hope that's [IPL] not the way he goes because I don't want this to be the last of the Australian public seeing Andrew Symonds playing," Watson says. "I know Andrew Symonds well and I know deep down he's worked so, so hard and been through a lot of ups and downs throughout his career to play for Australia. "I've got no doubt in my mind that he'll be back hopefully sooner rather than later when he knows his mind is exactly where he wants to be."

Symonds' immediate future, however, remains in some doubt. * PA Sport