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Simon Katich has vowed to continue playing cricket for NSW while labelling national selectors’ decision not to renew his contract as “absolutely ridiculous”. Watch his explosive press conference.
The 35-year-old Test opener was cut from Cricket Australia’s 25-man list of contracted players for the 2011-12 season on Tuesday, despite being one of the side’s most consistent players leading up to last summer’s Ashes series.
Katich told a Sydney media conference on Friday he had considered retirement over the past two days but wanted to continue out of respect for NSW Cricket and his state teammates.
He was also considering an offer to play English county cricket and, while he did not shut the door on a return to international cricket, he didn’t appear to hold much hope of a national team recall.
“After much consideration I’ve decide that I want to keep playing on for NSW due to the level of respect I have for Cricket NSW and also my teammates for the last nine years,” said Katich, whose 56 Tests have yielded 4188 runs at an average of 45.03.
“I want to repay that faith that they have shown in me and hopefully we can have a very good season coming up.”
Katich slammed CA’s selection policy as inconsistent and said was “disappointed and frustrated”.
He felt the decision was based on age not form and did not agree with the reason offered by selectors, that they wanted to bed down a new opening partnership ahead of the next Ashes series in 2013.
“I’m extremely disappointed and frustrated at the decision I found out about on Tuesday but I also want to make it clear I know I’m not the only player to go through this in the last few years because of inconsistent selection policies,” said Katich, who felt it was time for a full-time selection panel.
“I’m just hoping something good comes out of this situation because I actually think the decision that came on Tuesday was absolutely ridiculous.”
The WA-born batsman had been a mainstay of the Australian side but a serious Achilles tendon injury suffered during the second Test against England last summer hampered his recent performances.
Katich said he had been working hard over the past six months with NSW medical staff to return to full fitness.
“I certainly wasn’t going to waste their time if I wasn’t completely dedicated in making myself to being available and fully fit for the tour of Sri Lanka in August,” he said.
Katich savaged the role of part time selectors, starting: “If you pay peanuts you get monkeys.”
Tweeting from the press conference, News Limited’s Malcolm Conn described it as the strongest press conference he had attended, with Peter Lalor adding it was the most controversial in living memory in terms of cricket.
– with AAP.