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Former Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) CEO and player agent Neil Maxwell has revealed that Andrew Symonds didn’t want to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after the infamous Border-Gavaskar trophy 2007-2008, remembered as Monkeygate Scandal.
That particular series between India and Australia was famous for all the wrong things. It hogged the eyeball of everyone after Harbhajan Singh was charged for passing racial remark to Andrew Symonds. The veteran Indian spinner was banned for three-Test for calling Symond’s as Monkey. However, the ban was removed later. Also, the umpires had given wrong decisions, and Adam Gilchrist was accused of poor sportsmanship during the series.
So, after the combat with Harbhajan, Symonds disagreed to participate in the inaugural edition of IPL. According to Niel Maxwell, he had to convince the former allrounder including other Australian and New Zealand players to draft their names in the cash-rich league.
“(Then IPL commissioner) Lalit Modi asked me to convince the Australian players and the New Zealand players that they needed to come to the IPL, and not go to the ICL or, in Andrew Symonds’ case, not go at all,” Maxwell said on The Top Order podcast.
Andrew Symonds was an expensive overseas player during IPL 2008:
After all the cloud over his participation in the IPL, Symonds ended up as the most expensive overseas player in the first-ever auction when he was signed by the Deccan Chargers for a price tag of Rs 10.2 crore.
“He didn’t want to go at all, because he had that blowout with Harbhajan. So I had to work the Australian cricket team. I was working them all.
“Anyway, he reluctantly agreed, and 48 hours later, he had 1.2 million [$1.35m] a year for three years as a contract. You talk about transformation, that was transformation as they introduced the auction.”
Former Aussie allrounder featured for Deccan Chargers from 2008-2010. He then shifted his base to Mumbai Indians where he played alongside Harbhajan Singh in 2011. On February 2012, Symonds announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.