Symonds ouster won’t be a distraction: Ponting
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Player:A Symonds, RT Ponting
Event:ICC World Twenty20 2009

DateLine: 5th June 2009


Australian skipper Ricky Ponting is confident that his team would retain their focus despite Andrew Symonds' sudden departure.


The 33-year-old was dismissed from the high profile event for disciplinary breaches including one involving alcohol.


Australia begin their campaign against the West Indies at the Oval on Saturday.


"Hopefully we don't miss a beat from here," said Ponting, who revealed Symonds' fate to the rest of the squad before practice on Thursday.


"It's no good thinking about what we might miss.


"It's all about moving on and moving forward and putting our best foot forward on Saturday.


"We're on the eve of the biggest Twenty20 tournament we're going to play, and it's about moving forward and finding ways to move forward with Australia.


"I know reasonably well how to handle these situations - we managed to get through a World Cup undefeated and won the final pretty easily. That's the sort of challenge we'll have to handle.


"Judging on things so far it's had no effect on us whatsoever. I gave all the guys the opportunity to ask questions before training. A couple were asked and answers were given. We've moved on."


Symonds, who was the part of the winning Deccan Chargers in the recently concluded Indian Premier League, is now facing up to the end of his international career, according to Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, who termed the development as the 'final straw'.


He was due to fly back to Australia at the first opportunity after contravening the self-imposed guidelines set upon his return to the green and gold ranks earlier this year.


His disciplining is the latest in a string of career indiscretions wherein many times he has been found on the wrong side of the fence. He was once banned for two matches during the 2005 Ashes tour for turning up drunk for a one-day international against Bangladesh in Cardiff.


"There are a number of his own commitments that he has broken over the last 24-48 hours," said Ponting. "They are not anything we forced upon him, they were his own commitments, that he was going to live by around the team and they were team rule breaches."


Some of Australia's players watched the State of Origin rugby league match between Queensland and New South Wales on Wednesday morning and Symonds was at a charity dinner with his team later that night but not at Thursday's net session at the Oval.


Sutherland, who announced Symonds' release from Australia's 15-man squad from Melbourne, said: "The breach of team rules in itself was not a major offence but was in effect the final straw after a series of previous indiscretions and in the light of the undertakings Andrew had given."


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