Symons was accessible during his PNG stint

Letters, Normal

I REFER to the letter “Disappointed cricket fan” (The National, Dec 10).
Andrew Symons was accessible, personable and polite throughout his entire stay in PNG.
He respected the values of Cricket PNG’s “Don’t drink and drive” message and interacted with all cricket lovers, in particular with all children.
This was evident when he organised an impromptu game of touch footy with about 30 boys and girls at Amini park.
It was evidenced by his demand to take him to a village to see life in a village and him playing a game of street cricket with about 100 children.
It was evidenced by his enthusiasm while at a clinic at Ela Murray International School to spend time with the students and, importantly, it was evident following the completion of the grand final of the T20 Legends Big Bash, that he sat on the edge of the stage for 30 minutes and signed every item thrust in front of him and posed for hundreds of photos.
At no time was there any reluctance to sign any item or pose for any photo opportunity during his stay at the appropriate time.
We are aware that as he was preparing to bat in a secure area during a game, we had a person entering and demanding he sign an item and the person was asked to come back after Andrew had batted.
The person was unhappy that his demand could not be instantly met.
Our team manager witnessed Andrew asking the person to allow him to get changed and promise to sign once he had batted.
Cricket PNG could not have secured a better ambassador for the game. Andrew is one of the biggest stars in the sport and his name brings attention wherever he goes.
It is through the visits of high profile people like Andrew (and many others), that special memories are created.
It is not good or acceptable that inappropriate and racially motivated comments are written as this will damage PNG’s reputation.
Bill Leane
General manager
Cricket PNG