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Crunch time for Symonds

Melbourne: Andrew Symonds might have been recalled to the Australia team despite a mediocre domestic performance, but chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch has issued a warning to the troubled all-rounder, saying it’s high time for him to either perform or perish.

Hilditch said Symonds, who has had a run-in with behavioural issues in the recent past, deserves one last opportunity to prove himself and has been selected in the squad largely based on his past heroics.

“He’s obviously not performed domestically as well as we or he would have liked, so we really had to make a decision on giving him an opportunity to see how he is going or not prior to the Twenty20 World Championships in June,” he said.

“We thought it was the right way to go but, as I’ve told Andrew, it will be up to him from now on. He’s going to have to perform.”

Meanwhile, skipper Ricky Ponting, who along with Michael Hussey and Mitchell Johnson, has been rested for the ODI series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from April 22, welcomed Symonds’s inclusion in the squad.

Important player

“He’s a very important player in our overall set-up. Yes, he is working through his fair share of issues and everything.

“But once he gets back around us then I’m sure that he’ll have an impact on our team with his on-field performances,” Ponting was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald. — PTI

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