It is not a big secret that i have been a big fan of his cricket, and sympathetic to his problems, but i was scratching my head as to the purpose of the segment.
It is obvious that he was given the opportunity to tell his side- assisted somewhat feebly by his girlfriend- as well as giving the "reporter" a chance at taking Symonds on the guilt trip that he (reporter Liam Bartlett) felt Australia wanted to give him. Typical 60 minutes rubbish? Why should i be surprised?
What i was particularly surprised about was, when Roys girlfriend mentioned that his drinking accelerated during the Harby crisis, why didn't Bartlett ask about how Symonds felt about CA's support of him during that time?
For me, this was the fulcrum of Symonds demise, and was missed by Bartlett. Sure, CA gave him a lot of chances, but i feel that they let him down when all of the BS with Harby was in full swing. CA basically capitulated and lost their chance to nail Harby to the wall over his unacceptable behaviour- behaviour that the rest of the world expects Australia and Australian crowds not to perpetrate! All because CA didn't call BCCI's bluff of threatening financial recompense if India went home; If they went home, surely THEY are in breach of their tour contracts! Gutless CA!
Symonds certainly struggled to come up with plausible responses for his final demise, and was told as much by Bartlett:
ANDREW SYMONDS: Yeah. I mean like, don't get me wrong, I had the form to prove that, and that's exactly how they probably would have been thinking.
LIAM BARTLETT: And they were right. On tour in London four weeks ago, he went to a pub to watch the first rugby league State of Origin match of the season with half a dozen team-mates.
ANDREW SYMONDS: I love Origin football and for me, with Origin football comes a few beers.
LIAM BARTLETT: He knew a single drink could sink his career. But that didn't seem to matter. The agreement says you're not allowed to drink in public.
ANDREW SYMONDS: Yes.
LIAM BARTLETT: I take it you read it before you signed it?
ANDREW SYMONDS: I did, yep.
LIAM BARTLETT: And you agreed to it?
ANDREW SYMONDS: Yep.
LIAM BARTLETT: But you had a few anyway?
ANDREW SYMONDS: Yes.
LIAM BARTLETT: Six, seven, eight - at what stage do you think to yourself, "That's it - this could get me thrown off the Australian team?"
ANDREW SYMONDS: I was wrapped up in watching the football and then when I got back, yep, I knew then.
LIAM BARTLETT: You really expect me to believe that?
ANDREW SYMONDS: It's not about convincing you. Not at all. It's not what I'm here to do.
LIAM BARTLETT: That's all they were asking you to do?
ANDREW SYMONDS: And I broke that, I broke that with them.
LIAM BARTLETT: You couldn't do it?
ANDREW SYMONDS: I didn't do it.
I must admit, that i am no fan of Liam Bartlett and the ethos of 60 minutes "journalism", so the fact that Roy didn't offer an 'excuse', just a statement of acceptance of his failure and was blunt (as in his 3rd last remark) with Bartlett made for more uncomfortable yet rewarding viewing on my part.
The questioning was at least more in line with the AJCE- Australian journalistic code of ethics- and far more removed from the typical sycophantic/sacrificial style normally on the show; what i wonder is, will Symonds himself see how much he appeared to be resolved without a fight to his demise, or at the end of the day the IPL paycheck IS better than a baggy green. I can only imagine how i would look at myself if that was the way i came across at the end of the piece.
down the wicket