Player vs board: Katich takes on Cricket Australia


Simon Katich, who was dropped from the list of 25 contracted players, has blamed the Cricket Australia for last summer’s Ashes debacle against England at home. Former Test opener Katich said Australia’s selection policy had destabilised the team during its 1-3 drubbing against the arch-rivals, which helped the visitors secure their first win Down Under in 24 years. Cricket Australia on Tuesday left out Katich from the list of contracted players on the basis of the “form of the players over the past 12 months and their likelihood of Australian selection over the next 12 months”. Katich said that he spoke to many players who felt aggrieved with the way they had been treated by the cricket board.
“There needs to be more consistency. The facts are a week or two before the Ashes a squad of 17 was named. In my opinion, if you can’t know what your best 11 is a week before our biggest series then that to me reeks of indecision. “The fact that we’ve had 10 or 11 spinners in the last three years, that to me is another indicator of the inconsistency in selection. There’s been rules for some and rules for others,” Katich was quoted as saying by ‘The Australian’. Katich, who announced that he would continue to play for New South Wales, was asked if he thought selectors’ indecision had destabilised the squad before the Ashes.
“I have got no doubt it did and I am sure there are other players who would say the same thing because there are so many guys looking over their shoulders about whether they were going to play or not,” he said. “If you compare it to how England prepared, they were settled, they played the same team in all their warm-up games and it was no surprise that they had a very good campaign,” he added.
Katich, who averaged more than 50 as a Test opener and 45 over his career, is reportedly furious that selectors claim he was dumped to allow a new opening partnership to be ready for the 2013 Ashes.
The batsman was the second-highest scorer in world cricket in the three years prior to his axing.
“As far back as when I started my career, playing for Australia has always been about bottom-line performance. When I got picked for my first tour in 1999, you got picked because of your performance; now it seems that that’s changed and it’s not only about performance it is about potential,” said Katich.