Could Andrew Symonds' Exit Spark the Fuse for Future Leavers?

Devin HefferContributor IJune 6, 2009

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 06:  Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds arrives at Brisbane International Airport on June 6, 2009 in Brisbane, Australia. Symonds has been sent home from Australia's preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup after breaking team rules.  (Photo by David Hardenberg/Getty Images)

Andrew Symonds has been sent home; and his offer of a new 12-month contract with Cricket Australia withdrawn, after an alcohol incident while on tour with the Australians in England.

Symonds has been in good form of late in the shortest form of the game, after a string of good performance for the Deccan Chargers in the IPL 2009.

Symonds had been sidelined for most of 2009 after the "gone fishing" incident, and had just managed to win back his place in the Australian squad for the World Cup T20.

Things were looking up for the English-born cricketer, who would have liked to win the only trophy Australia has yet to add to their cabinet, but also seek revenge of an Ashes series (if there were injuries to any of the current Test squad).

Symonds was caught drinking with fellow teammates in an English pub, while supporting his local rugby team—days before the beginning of the tournament. This was in breach of his Cricket Australia contract, where he was not aloud to drink alcohol in public.

Observers and former players are predicting that the 33-year old is likely to exit the International scene, and concentrate on his current contract with the Deccan Chargers.

Yet could his exit spark the fuse that send more players packing from playing international cricket?

The IPL doesn't hold the pride of playing for one's country, but also doesn't carry the burden of failing under one's flag.

Former Australian players such as Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, and Shane Warne have made the IPL a lucrative investment after their retirement from the international scene.

Hayden has gone as far as saying that he would not pull on the "baggy green" again, because he wouldn't carry the freedom which he does with his IPL contract.

But who would blame him? He get's to hit the surf in the morning, and destroy inexpereinced Indian bowlers in the afternoon.

Along with this, one month of cricket, four hours a day (max), brings in enough money for him and time to support his family, as well as his hobbies. Same can be said for Warne and Gilchrist.

What would stop Symonds from doing the same? He could have a few beers the night before a game, and recover from his hangover a few hours before the start of play.

Deccan Chargers have announced that they would back Symonds, and they were happy to have him if Cricket Australia were to scrap his contract.

Yet what happens if Symonds doesn't want a contract with Cricket Australia? Would he want to have to keep looking over his shoulder every time he did something he enjoyed?

Only the pride for playing one's country, and the meaning behind it, will make Symonds decision for him.

After numerous situations, maybe it's time for him to hang up the baggy green, and relax a while.

Yet what could stop current players from doing the same?

Chris Gayle is suggesting that he could be following the same path. What could stop the Kevin Pieterson's and Virender Sehwags's of the game from doing the same?

As much as the idea of making millions playing in the IPL is great, we must remember that those who perform, and those who earn the money they do, have put in the hours and years into their game.

Being able to repeat the form of Gilchrist and Hayden, it must be remembered that playing their natural game was perfected through international cricket, and is now prospering for them on the IPL scene.

One must first prove on the international scene that they are up there with the world's greatest, before they can start believing that they are bigger than the international scene. Gilchrist and Hayden are the exception, not the rule.

Remember that players who don't perform are unlikely to have their IPL contracts renewed. Could Symonds repeat his current form in eleven months time?

Only time will tell whether Symonds walks, or he stands his ground for the CA's decision. If he's given out, and loses his contract, he falls back on minimum cricket until April 2010.

If he's given "not out", he will have to change his attitude, his goals, and his views on the 'green and gold' of the Australian strip.

Do you think the IPL could end the future of international cricket for various cricketers?