I Drank Too Much After Monkeygate: Symonds
Andrew Symonds admits he started drinking "way too much" after his 'Monkeygate' incident with Harbhajan Singh.
He also revealed the Indian spinner later broke down in tears when he finally apologised over the episode.
Symonds was allegedly called a monkey by Singh during a heated Test match at the SCG in 2008.
The Australian allrounder alleges Singh had also called him a monkey during a previous ODI clash but promised not to do it again after that match.
Singh has previously claimed he never called Symonds a monkey during the SCG Test but rather the Hindi slur 'teri maa ki'.
The controversial spinner was initially handed a three-match Test ban but it was later overturned as the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India flexed its considerable muscle.
"I suppose this would be the moment where my whole persona to cricket changed," Symonds said in a Fox Cricket documentary Monkeygate - Ten Years On.
"I didn't realise the politics, the power, the money until this moment in my career,.
"I didn't realise how powerful one player, one incident, how much money was at stake and the ramifications.
"I went downhill pretty fast after this because I felt responsible for four of my mates, close mates (Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist), that I dragged into this whole situation and it beared very heavily on me.
"I started drinking way too much and my cricket, my mindset -- I started to go downhill, I just wasn't in the right frame of mind."
Symonds scored 162no and 61 in a match-winning performance in that Sydney Test.
But his Test career ended less than 12 months later as his life started to spiral out of control.
However, Symonds reached a sense of closure when he joined Singh at IPL franchise Mumbai Indians a few years later.
"When I first arrived there was deafening silence in the dressing shed when I walked in. There was a pink elephant in the corner.
You could feel it," Symonds said.
"We (went) to a very wealthy man's place for a barbecue, drinks and dinner one night and the whole team's there and he had guests there, and Harbhajan said, http://wap.zpj6x.top/home.php?mod=space&uid=35373&do=profile 'Mate, can I speak to you for a minute out in the garden out the front?'
"He goes, 'Look, I've got to say sorry to you for what I did to you in Sydney. I apologise, I hope I didn't cause you, your family, your friends too much harm and I really apologise for what I said, I shouldn't have said it'.
"And he actually broke down crying, and I could just see that was a huge weight off his shoulders, he had to get rid of it.
"We shook hands and I gave him a hug and said, 'Mate, it's all good. It's dealt with'.
"I said to him, 'It wasn't your fault or my fault, it was the way it was all handled', and after that you could see that it was a weight off his shoulders."