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Hayden says Symonds ‘has an alcohol problem’ and will help him

Brisbane (Australia), June 6 (ANI): Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden says Andrew Symonds, one of his closest friends, has an alcohol problem and that he would like to help him finally address it.

Hayden told The Weekend Australian: “Andrew is my best friend, (my wife) Kellie and I care very deeply about him.”

“First and foremost it’s about getting Andrew in a position where in his heart of hearts and in his very core he admits that he has a problem, and it is not masked by the carrot of playing for Australia or doing anything else in his life other than just trying to understand the depth of the issue,” the Courier Mail quoted him, as saying.

Symonds stands to lose millions in endorsements from high profile companies who have backed him.

Companies such as Ford, Solo, Asics, Skins, and Gray-Nicholls haven’t yet decided whether they will keep their contracts live or lengthen them when they come up for renegotiation.

Symonds could continue to earn about 1.5 million dollars in the Indian Premier League, but some sponsors will be serving the wayward star a “please explain” on his return home.

None of his sponsors contacted by the Herald Sun had made up their mind about his future with them, but things don’t look good as the Symonds brand continues to tumble.

Symonds left the team hotel to go drinking with friends on Tuesday night and did not tell security he was leaving. He arrived back in the early hours of the morning, had a quick sleep and then headed out to a nearby pub to watch the State of Origin with some teammates.

When they left the bar to have lunch he stayed on alone.

Devoted to Queensland he became distressed at the sight of Justin Hodges injuring his knee during the game and was texting mates in Australia to find the player’s number so he could offer him support.

Symonds missed team commitments, including, it is believed, a session with the sports scientist and was smelling of alcohol when he returned to the hotel later that day.

Confronted by the team manager and captain he denied he was drunk and not in a fit state to attend a sponsor’s function.

Symonds was fit enough to go to the dinner at 6 p.m., but it was the last function he would attend with the team.

Captain Ricky Ponting, vice-captain Michael Clarke, manager Steve Bernard and coach Tim Nielsen met and decided he should be sent home.

The Cricket Australia board agreed during a phone link-up. (ANI)

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