Former Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds has opened up on his fall-out with fellow countryman Michael Clarke. The right-handed batter accused the former skipper of being jealous of his IPL contract, followed by a clash in 2008.
Symonds bagged an IPL contract in 2008 of $1.35 million with the Deccan Chargers and went on to lift the trophy with them in 2009. Clarke also played in the cash-rich league; however, he could only play six games in 2012 for the Pune Warriors.
Speaking on the Brett Lee podcast, the former IPL winner recalled Matthew Hayden telling him he had earned a hefty IPL contract. The 46-year-old believes money created that rift between them, spoiling their friendship in the process.
"Matthew Hayden said to me — when the IPL started, I got a pretty penny to go and play in the IPL — he identified it as there was a bit of jealousy that potentially came into the relationship there. Money does funny things. It's a good thing but it can be a poison and I reckon it may have poisoned our relationship."
"I've got enough respect for him to probably not go into detail about what was said. My friendship with him is no longer and I'm comfortable with that, but I'm not gonna sit here and start slinging mud."
Clarke and Symonds made their Test debuts in 2004 and were part of Australia's most dominant era in world cricket. The duo played a significant role in Australia's World Cup win in 2007. They reportedly grew close after spending years playing together for the national team across formats.
"Our friendship was destroyed in that moment" - Andrew Symonds recalls the 2008 tour of the West Indies
Symonds further claimed that the breaking point was during the tour of the Caribbean in 2008 when things went beyond control. The former spin-bowling all-rounder revealed that Clarke called him a selfish person.
"I threw a drink on him. He didn't tell me to go to bed, he said something else but I threw a drink on him and what he said to me put me into a rage. Our friendship was destroyed in that moment. He'd said to me, not in these words, but he'd suggested I was a selfish player and a selfish person. The one thing I don't consider myself to be is that and that really annoyed me."
The hard-hitting all-rounder played his last game for Australia in 2009 and officially retired in February 2012. In contrast, Clarke had a longer cricketing career and was one of Australia's most prolific batters.