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Symonds ruled out of South African tour

  • Story Highlights
  • Cricket Australia say they will not pick Andrew Symonds for tour of South Africa
  • Symonds is undergoing counselling after verbal outburst on radio program
  • England hopeful Andrew Flintoff will be fit for first Test against West Indies
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(CNN) -- Australia's faltering cricket team received a further setback as all-rounder Andrew Symonds was ruled out of the upcoming tour of South Africa.

Symonds has had several brushes with authority during his cricketing career.

Symonds has had several brushes with authority during his cricketing career.

Symonds is undergoing rehabilitation and counseling after abusing New Zealand wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum on a radio show.

The Cricket Australia board met on Tuesday and ruled that Symonds would not be picked until he met formal rehabilitation criteria.

Symonds was carpeted for 'detrimental public comment' last week and also received a fine after his outspoken attack on McCullum.

"Our assessment is that he is making good progress but that his commitment needs testing against new, tougher criteria we will finalize after consultation with his counselors, the ACA and Queensland Cricket," Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland told Press Association.

"We have a responsibility to Andrew and his welfare but we also have a responsibility to Australian cricket to ensure his commitment is as it needs to be before he can be considered for national selection."

Sutherland added that Symonds, a hard-hitting batsman and versatile bowler, was making good progress but described their decision as "tough and appropriate."

Symonds, a one-day specialist, did not play as his teammates suffered a shock defeat to New Zealand, earlier this week.

It came off the back of a 4-1 one-day series loss to South Africa, who also took the Test series.

Australia will be looking to find their best form in South Africa ahead of their crucial Ashes series against arch foes England this summer.

England were facing West Indies in the first Test match in Jamaica on Wednesday and remained optimistic that their star all-rounder Andrew Flintoff would be fit to play.

Flintoff has been struggling with a side strain but took a full part in practice on Monday.

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