Symonds flattens streaker during Australia international

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The Independent Online

A streaker ran into more trouble than expected during a limited-overs cricket international when he was flattened by Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

The man ran on the pitch, naked, and toward Symonds at the non-striker's end today as he attempted to evade police and ground security staff at the Australia v India match in Brisbane.

Symonds stood his ground and leaned into the streaker in a rugby-style shoulder charge, dropping him instantly to the ground.

The streaker was escorted from the field by police.

He faces a fine up to 3,000 Australian dollars (US$2,800) for the pitch invasion and is expected to be charged with exposure by Queensland state police.

Australia was 34 for three at the time, chasing 259 to win and keep the three-match finals series alive.

Symonds, a muscular allrounder who did some off season training with Australian National Rugby League powerhouse club the Brisbane Broncos, did not seem distracted by his brush with the pitch invader.

He scored 42 put in an 89-run partnership with Matthew Hayden (55) but it wasn't enough to force a win, with Australia eventually losing by nine runs.

Symonds could face a serious punishment if the International Cricket Council decides that he breached section 4.2 of the player's code of conduct relating to a physical assault of a rival player, an official or a spectator.

The sanction for that is a suspension from five test matches or 10 limited-overs internationals up to a life ban.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting said he had not seen any replays of the incident, but expected to see plenty of commentary in the media.

"I haven't seen it yet, there's been a bit of talk and laughter around the dressing room, but I haven't spoken to Symmo about it."

Australian players have been routinely instructed by team officials never to make contact with spectators on the field ever since Terry Alderman injured his shoulder in a similar incident in the 1982-83 Ashes series and missed 18 months of cricket.

Greg Chappell, a former Australian captain, escaped a fine for hitting a streaker on the buttocks with a bat during a match in Auckland, New Zealand in 1976.