After I went to the Australia vs. New Zealand Twenty20 match the other night in London, I went to a pub for an after game cool down. We had a quick beer at the Beehive Hotel, which is just a stroll from the Alec Stewart (I know) gates. After the lager I made my way home by walking back past The Oval, and it just happened to be as the last Australian player was getting on the bus.

The player was Andrew Symonds.

He didn’t look like a happy little camper. As I watched him walk down the aisle of the bus I got the feeling he would have preferred to catch a cab back into town. He had made 17 not out off 11 balls, he didn’t have much to do really. But Roy rarely looks all that happy. I am not sure I have ever seen him smile away from a cricket match, but this was different, he looked like he was alone as well.

I am not surprised he turned back to alcohol only a few hours later, and no one is surprised that a Queenslander watching the Rugby League State of Origin would have a drink. And especially with the entire off field dramas he has been through; monkey gate, family problems, knee problems, dressing room squabbles, losing money through investments … he was never going to stay out of trouble for long.

Although I am not sure having a beer or two during a State of Origin match is actual “trouble”.

People will say he should never have been in England in the first place, his mind wasn’t on the ball, he was still drinking heavily, he still saw himself as the victim and his attitude was poor. The reason he was there is simple: he is a match winning Twenty20 cricketer, and Andrew Hilditch and Ricky Ponting wanted him there.

Ponting also tried to get him an Ashes ticket; Ricky likes to take the best players, regardless of alcoholic distractions. You can bet the other leadership players do not think the same way. Ponting and Hilditch have been hanging onto Roy as long as they can. The team has changed; they are too professional to put up with a drunken grumpy cricketer, even if he makes their team better.

So that is it for Roy, I cannot see a way back for him now.

Cricket loses another character, professional attitudes prevail, and a man loses his international career whilst falling deeper down the drain.

Take this time to raise your glasses.

Roy, we have followed you throughout your entire career. You have entertained us all, off and on the field. Your drunkenness, big hits, rude way with fans, freakish fielding and your mild abuse to the press has been a breath of fresh air in this age of professional robot cricketers.

James Sutherland will never allow us another you, Roy. You are it; a dying breed of drunkard cricketer, a throwback to a time when getting drunk and being good at cricket went hand in hand.

You had the misfortune to be born in the wrong era; in the 70s or 80s there would have been no scandal if the odd bus was missed, or if you rocked up to the odd game with no sleep. Those days are gone old chap, and your story is testament to that. You’ve had your fun though; you played for your country, hit a streaker, appeared half naked in ads and lived the lifestyle of a rock star.

When you sit down in the Drunkard’s Valhalla, you can do it proudly: as you seemingly pissed away your career with stunning masculinity and brutish charm.