Cricket: Symonds to make 'clever decisions' in future

Andrew Symonds won't put himself on a pub ban despite the risk incidents like Sunday's brush with a hotel patron could pose to his international cricket career.

However, the trouble-prone allrounder says he's learnt a valuable lesson and will try to make "clever decisions" about when and where he goes out.

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland today cleared Symonds of any wrong-doing over Sunday evening's incident in a Brisbane pub following Australia's first Test victory over New Zealand at the Gabba.

But Sutherland made it clear he believed Symonds should not have been in the pub in the first place, especially so soon after returning from selection exile and admitting a problem with alcohol contributed to that.

Sutherland said an investigation report from CA general manager Michael Brown showed Symonds did nothing wrong when approached by a pub patron seeking a photograph.

The man was reported to have thrown punches at Symonds after his request was refused and was removed from the premises by staff.

"Whilst Andrew agrees that he should have thought twice about actually going to the hotel, his response when subsequently provoked, was restrained and mature," Sutherland said.

The finding clears the big-hitting Queenslander to play in the second Test at Adelaide Oval starting on Friday.

"Whilst it's clear that no harm has been done on this occasion, I thought it important to talk to Andrew and take advice from his professional counsellors, to understand why he could be quite open about having a problem with alcohol and then find himself in the spotlight by visiting a pub literally a few days later," Sutherland said.

"Andrew is no saint and never will be, but his lessons from counselling, reinforced to him by this incident, are that he is committed to making intelligent off-field decisions."

Symonds says he is committed to working through his counselling for a "stress-related illness" to help him become a better person.

Asked if he would stop going to pubs, he added: "No. I just need to make clever decisions."

Symonds feels he is something of a target in public.

"That's why I've got to be smart when I go out and where I go out," he said.

Sutherland said it was an unfortunate fact of life that players had to consider curtailing their social activities.

"These guys and other high-profile sportsmen need to face up to that," he said.

Showing some nerves as he stumbled several times over his prepared statement on Wednesday, Symonds said he had "learnt a valuable lesson from this incident" and he also apologised to teammates for this week's disruption.

The 33-year-old was kicked out of the Australian one-day team for the series against Bangladesh in September because he skipped a pre-series team meeting to go fishing, subsequently missing the Test series defeat in India before being recalled for the Brisbane Test.

He also served a two-match ban from the national team in 2005 for arriving at the ground drunk for a one-dayer against Bangladesh in Wales.

Symonds admitted he is still working on repairing his relationship with vice-captain Michael Clarke after an incident in the West Indies earlier this year but captain Ricky Ponting is prepared to ride with Symonds on his emotional roller-coaster.

"If he wasn't worth it, he wouldn't be sitting here right now," Ponting said.

"It can't become any clearer to him than it has been laid to him over the last couple of days.

"We think that we can help him through and that he can come through the other side a better person."

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