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Symonds likely to escape suspension in CA hearing

cricket Updated: Jan 28, 2009 11:32 IST

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Andrew Symonds is likely to escape suspension and only be fined for his radio rant against New Zealand player Brendon McCullum as Cricket Australia will treat him as a first-time offender in the hearing on Thursday.

"Andrew Symonds has never been reported for a breach of the Code of Behaviour ... this will be treated as a stand-alone incident," CA spokesman Peter Young was quoted as saying by 'The Daily Telegraph'.

According to the newspaper, Symonds, who called McCullum "a lump of s---" during an alcohol-fuelled radio interview, would be asked to pay a maximum of 5750 dollars as fine for his indiscretion.

"Bad boy Andrew Symonds is set to escape suspension for his abusive radio rant as he is amazingly considered a clean-skin under cricket's Code of Conduct," the report said.

"Incredibly, despite his long history of disciplinary troubles, Symonds will be treated as a first-time offender when he faces a closed hearing in Melbourne on Thursday," it added.

"That means the troubled cricketer can expect merely a fine (maximum 5750 dollars) rather than a possible suspension for the most serious offenders under the Code of Conduct provisions."

Symonds has been involved in various alcohol-related misdemeanours in the past, including turning up drunk for a one-dayer during the 2005 Ashes. Before the radio diatribe against McCullum, Symonds had been sent to rehab in the aftermath of the infamous "gone fishing" affair.

But all these matters were dealt with by the team management and a formal process under the Code of Conduct has been initiated for the first time.

Code of Conduct commissioner Gordon Lewis will oversee the proceedings in the closed-door hearing on Thursday.