"I'm a Binge Drinker, but Not Alcoholic", Says Symonds

by VR Sreeraman on Jul 1 2009 12:12 PM

Sacked Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds has denied that he is an alcoholic, but admitted to being a binge drinker.

In an interview on Nine Network's Sixty Minutes last night, Symonds said: "I am not an alcoholic, I have been diagnosed as a binge drinker. I go out and drink hard all in one hit. Too fast, too much.

Everyone's tolerance is different. I became not good to be around.

"I have let them (team-mates) down a number of times. I had to front up and apologize to them a number of times. They were embarrassing, difficult awkward situations. It is not ideal. I am not saying I am perfect but I am not setting out looking for trouble," quoted Symonds, as saying.

"I am not proud of the times I have drunk too much or been rude to people or broken team rules - it's unacceptable. I am out of that environment and that won't happen any more for those people," he added.

Symonds wayward disciplinary record saw him sent home from the Twenty20 World Cup in England. Cricket Australia subsequently withdrew a new contract and Symonds international career is now considered over.

Symonds confirmed he had several drinks while watching the first State of Origin match while in England and thus broke the contract.

Symonds admitted the pressure of stardom thrust upon him in recent seasons and the stresses of a race row in which he was taunted by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh had worn him down.