Australian news June 7, 2011

Katich cut from contract list

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Simon Katich's Test career is effectively finished and he may yet retire from cricket altogether after he was denied a Cricket Australia contract in the most significant change to the 25-man list of national team players for the 2011-12 season.

Mike Hussey, 36, and Katich, 35, were the two players thought in most danger of being culled as the national selectors maintain their push towards youth. The strong form of New South Wales team-mates and fellow top order batsmen Phil Hughes and David Warner, late in the domestic season, arguably tipped the scales against Katich.

All this was understandably difficult to fathom for Katich who, with 2928 runs at 50.48 since he was recalled to the Test team in 2008, has been not only Australia's most reliable batsman but among the most bankable in the world. In that time only Alastair Cook has scored more runs.

"It was obviously devastating for Simon, from the time he went out of the Australian team and fought his way back through weight of runs he's been a really fantastic player for us and has been extremely successful," said Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, at the contract announcement in Adelaide.

"So it was a big decision, obviously really hard on Simon, but in our view the opening partnership is critical, it takes time to get a good opening partnership and we think now the time is right to make sure we have the right opening partnership come the Ashes.

"He was really devastated as you can imagine, and they're not easy phone calls to make, he was really upset."

Katich played his last Test during the innings defeat in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide in December last year, limping out of international cricket with a torn Achilles tendon that cancelled him out of the equation for the remainder of the series. His manager, Robert Joske, said Katich would take some time to consider his future before speaking publicly.

"Simon's bitterly disappointed but we're going to take a look at all of the options," Joske told ESPNcricinfo. "There's lots of options we'll look at, both playing and non-playing, before we decide what's best for Simon and his family. We'll wait until the dust settles."

Hussey's staunch efforts during the Ashes were followed up by a rapid recovery from a hamstring tear to play a walk-on role in the World Cup in March, and he also made a century against Bangladesh in Dhaka during Michael Clarke's first tour as captain in April. Hilditch said Hussey and the former captain Ricky Ponting would have to shepherd a young batting line-up through the perils of Sri Lanka and South Africa.

"We see them having a very important role with our middle order," Hilditch said. "It's as tough as it gets, Sri Lanka away, South Africa away, India at home, we play three of the top four nations in the next 12 months, so it's a really demanding time and we just think they've got a great role to play at the moment."

Another most significant contractual decision is the inclusion of the 18-year-old NSW paceman Patrick Cummins. Cummins, currently recuperating from a back strain that has kept him out of the Australia A tour of Zimbabwe, is the youngest player to be granted a contract since the current system was introduced in 1998.

Xavier Doherty, John Hastings, David Hussey, Usman Khawaja, Jason Krejza and James Pattinson are the other players to be added to the contracts list, having all taken part in matches for Australia over the past 18 months. Alongside Cummins, Pattinson is considered one of the most promising fast bowling prospects in the country, and made his international debut in Bangladesh.

"James has tasted international cricket and we see him as a young man of immense talent who is made of the right stuff to succeed at the higher level," said Hilditch. "Patrick Cummins is an exceptional talent who has impressed with his opportunities to date for New South Wales and it will be very exciting to watch his progress.

"We're really all of the view that he's a potential champion for Australia and we're going to encourage that and look after him."

Cummins was shocked to receive a call from Hilditch, and later another from Clarke, as he came to terms with being so quickly in the national frame.

"I got a call from Michael Clarke so that was pretty exciting - I didn't have his phone number before, but now I've got it," Cummins told reporters at the SCG. "I'm still level-headed about it, trying to play for NSW whenever I can, whenever I get an opportunity. There's still plenty of quality bowlers out there and when they return from injury they probably deserve a spot ahead of me, so hopefully I can bowl well and keep that spot."

Apart from Katich, James Hopes, Andrew McDonald, Clint McKay, Marcus North, Shaun Tait and Adam Voges were also cut from the list, while Australia's incumbent Test spinner Michael Beer was not offered a contract though he remains in the selectors' plans.

"You shouldn't read too much into that," Hilditch said of Beer's absence. "Michael Beer and Steven O'Keefe are still very much in contention for Sri Lanka, even though they don't get a ranking. Because we now rank three forms of the game there are still players we rank very highly who are out of that contract list."

Cricket Australia contracts list 2011-12: Doug Bollinger, Michael Clarke, Patrick Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, Phillip Hughes, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • gary3107 on June 10, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    I am a total religious fanatic when it comes to Australian cricket, but the Pope (Hilditch) and his priests are making it harder and harder to win games, let alone beat the best teams!!! How can Kat be left out of the contracted list??? And include doubtful quantities like Jason Krejza - they have to be kidding. Picking Krejza b4 Hauritz in the previous series was hopeless, and his results showed it. Sure we need a balance of experience and youth, and when you look at the average age of our test team we are older than most of our competitors, but it is not our age which has let us down - it is our mental toughness at some key moments in the game. The Ashes series in England was lost by one poor session in each of 2 tests, and in the onshore series our bowling stocks were impacted by serious injuries and a lack of a quality spinner and we failed to break England's top order. We need Kat at the top with Watto just as we need Punter and Huss. Come on Aussie selectors, come on, come on

  • Meety on June 10, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    @Blake Houston - I was a big Jaques fan when he came on the scene. I thought we had the perfect replacement for either Hayden or Langar. But honestly - since his back injury, Jaques isn't half the batsmen he was. He averaged 33 in the Shield this past summer, in seasons gone by - it would of been 63. Love to see him at his best, but I don't think that'll happen. I actually think if Katich plays for NSW all season next summer, Jaques will have difficulty getting into the side - with Warner & Maddison likely to open with Katich @ #3.

  • __PK on June 10, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    WorldsOddestMan, what are you talking about? Noone bloods openers at No 3. No 3 is the hardest and most important spot in the batting order. Next you'll be claiming we need to blood our keepers by letting them open the bowling.

  • mail2shiv on June 9, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    I am absolutely shocked. Remember the almighty fight between Katich and Michael Clarke about two years ago. Katich has paid the price for it now that Clarke is captain. There is nothing else as a reason I can think of. Do the Australian selectors think that Hughes or Warner can play Test cricket. Even Marsh has not played a single Test. And if they are talking about age, what about Ponting, David & Michel Hussey, Lee & Harris.

  • on June 9, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    Hodge, Jaques now katich, wasting really good players while trying to introduce others :north, smith mainly. Phil Hughes is such a risk, u dont know which phil hughes will turn up on any given day of a test match. My contracted 25 wud have included senior pro's but also some youth, and some new players. Watson, M.Hussey, D.Hussey, Jaques, Katich, Ponting, Lynn, Khawaja, Clarke, Haddin, Wade, Cosgrove, Voges, Ferguson, Marsh, O'keefe, Hauritz, Bollinger, R. Harris, Mckay, Lee, Johnson, Copeland, Siddle, Christian. Steve smith misses out by a whisker, but i feel watson, dan christian and Steve O'keefe are the better allrounders. O'keefe and hauritz are the 2 spinners, they need to be shown support. 7 good pace bowlers to join Watson and Christian. 13 batsman, 2 keeper batsman, Hughes just misses out to Phil Jaques, cosgrove is very solid so he's included along with Voges who avg's 40+ in ODI's. This is perfect 25 players except arguably Hughes could be included, but who to leave out?

  • on June 9, 2011, 11:24 GMT

    Another chapter in Guru Greg Chappel's Book

  • PradeepR on June 8, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Greg Chappell and Michael Clarke will take care of Ricky Ponting too very soon. Just give it one more series and then Greg alone will take care of Michael Clarke ;-). Failure in just one series is required and Michael Hussey will be out too.

  • on June 8, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Haha. Cricket Australia has gone crazy it seems!

  • fazald on June 8, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    This so called Chairman of Selectors Hilditch and his cronies should be asked to step down or forced to step down in the interest of aussie cricket for slowly but surely destroying our status as a powerful cricket playing nation.Their sheer ignorance, arrogance and lack of intelligence no doubt has let down the cricket fans in this country as well as overseas according to the multitude of comments appearing on this column. Their policies and decisions have always been contrary to opinions expressed by everyone who seem to follow the game.The selection of the contracted players is just another example where very poor decisions have been made once again. The omission of Katich, McKay, Starc, O'Keefe & Warner is beyond imagination whilst the inclusion of Smith, White, Doherty, Krejza & Hastings is just poor judgement on the part of our selectors.Though Katich is not an elegant batsman to watch he is one of our best batsman whilst McKay & Starc bowled well against Sri Lanka last year.

  • WorldsOddestMan on June 8, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    @rohanbala, agree with how badly Katich was treated. The way that in the past teams set up future openers was to introduce them at no.3 (like J Langer and A Cook were) the when the senior open would retire then put them in to open. But because Ponting doesn't want to move down the order, Australia will suffer. If there was a choice between Katich and Ponting, it had to be Katich because since Katich returned his record has been the 2nd best in test cricket (as stated above). Ponting record has been bad but since he is still having a say in selection therefore Katich wasn't allowed to play ODI's, despite his class and form as well as now losing the central contract and potentially his test spot. Seems like a bad decision and poorer future for Australia

  • gary3107 on June 10, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    I am a total religious fanatic when it comes to Australian cricket, but the Pope (Hilditch) and his priests are making it harder and harder to win games, let alone beat the best teams!!! How can Kat be left out of the contracted list??? And include doubtful quantities like Jason Krejza - they have to be kidding. Picking Krejza b4 Hauritz in the previous series was hopeless, and his results showed it. Sure we need a balance of experience and youth, and when you look at the average age of our test team we are older than most of our competitors, but it is not our age which has let us down - it is our mental toughness at some key moments in the game. The Ashes series in England was lost by one poor session in each of 2 tests, and in the onshore series our bowling stocks were impacted by serious injuries and a lack of a quality spinner and we failed to break England's top order. We need Kat at the top with Watto just as we need Punter and Huss. Come on Aussie selectors, come on, come on

  • Meety on June 10, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    @Blake Houston - I was a big Jaques fan when he came on the scene. I thought we had the perfect replacement for either Hayden or Langar. But honestly - since his back injury, Jaques isn't half the batsmen he was. He averaged 33 in the Shield this past summer, in seasons gone by - it would of been 63. Love to see him at his best, but I don't think that'll happen. I actually think if Katich plays for NSW all season next summer, Jaques will have difficulty getting into the side - with Warner & Maddison likely to open with Katich @ #3.

  • __PK on June 10, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    WorldsOddestMan, what are you talking about? Noone bloods openers at No 3. No 3 is the hardest and most important spot in the batting order. Next you'll be claiming we need to blood our keepers by letting them open the bowling.

  • mail2shiv on June 9, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    I am absolutely shocked. Remember the almighty fight between Katich and Michael Clarke about two years ago. Katich has paid the price for it now that Clarke is captain. There is nothing else as a reason I can think of. Do the Australian selectors think that Hughes or Warner can play Test cricket. Even Marsh has not played a single Test. And if they are talking about age, what about Ponting, David & Michel Hussey, Lee & Harris.

  • on June 9, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    Hodge, Jaques now katich, wasting really good players while trying to introduce others :north, smith mainly. Phil Hughes is such a risk, u dont know which phil hughes will turn up on any given day of a test match. My contracted 25 wud have included senior pro's but also some youth, and some new players. Watson, M.Hussey, D.Hussey, Jaques, Katich, Ponting, Lynn, Khawaja, Clarke, Haddin, Wade, Cosgrove, Voges, Ferguson, Marsh, O'keefe, Hauritz, Bollinger, R. Harris, Mckay, Lee, Johnson, Copeland, Siddle, Christian. Steve smith misses out by a whisker, but i feel watson, dan christian and Steve O'keefe are the better allrounders. O'keefe and hauritz are the 2 spinners, they need to be shown support. 7 good pace bowlers to join Watson and Christian. 13 batsman, 2 keeper batsman, Hughes just misses out to Phil Jaques, cosgrove is very solid so he's included along with Voges who avg's 40+ in ODI's. This is perfect 25 players except arguably Hughes could be included, but who to leave out?

  • on June 9, 2011, 11:24 GMT

    Another chapter in Guru Greg Chappel's Book

  • PradeepR on June 8, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Greg Chappell and Michael Clarke will take care of Ricky Ponting too very soon. Just give it one more series and then Greg alone will take care of Michael Clarke ;-). Failure in just one series is required and Michael Hussey will be out too.

  • on June 8, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Haha. Cricket Australia has gone crazy it seems!

  • fazald on June 8, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    This so called Chairman of Selectors Hilditch and his cronies should be asked to step down or forced to step down in the interest of aussie cricket for slowly but surely destroying our status as a powerful cricket playing nation.Their sheer ignorance, arrogance and lack of intelligence no doubt has let down the cricket fans in this country as well as overseas according to the multitude of comments appearing on this column. Their policies and decisions have always been contrary to opinions expressed by everyone who seem to follow the game.The selection of the contracted players is just another example where very poor decisions have been made once again. The omission of Katich, McKay, Starc, O'Keefe & Warner is beyond imagination whilst the inclusion of Smith, White, Doherty, Krejza & Hastings is just poor judgement on the part of our selectors.Though Katich is not an elegant batsman to watch he is one of our best batsman whilst McKay & Starc bowled well against Sri Lanka last year.

  • WorldsOddestMan on June 8, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    @rohanbala, agree with how badly Katich was treated. The way that in the past teams set up future openers was to introduce them at no.3 (like J Langer and A Cook were) the when the senior open would retire then put them in to open. But because Ponting doesn't want to move down the order, Australia will suffer. If there was a choice between Katich and Ponting, it had to be Katich because since Katich returned his record has been the 2nd best in test cricket (as stated above). Ponting record has been bad but since he is still having a say in selection therefore Katich wasn't allowed to play ODI's, despite his class and form as well as now losing the central contract and potentially his test spot. Seems like a bad decision and poorer future for Australia

  • bulldog07 on June 8, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    I remember talking to Simon when he was still at Trinity. He signed my year book as Australian Test Captain. Had justice prevailed this could have been a reality. Will miss a solid opener heading the test line up. Good luck with whatever the future brings you Katto. A lot of us out here feel you've been cheated...

  • hyclass on June 8, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    Name a single national or international professional sport that has no discernible criterion for selection?Imagine picking the olympic team on a hunch instead of on athletes records.Imagine ignoring tennis rankings when dealing places for the major Opens or selecting the test side without consulting 1st class averages-wait-thats already happening.Its farcical.All sport is about performance and results.Why not this?The practice is at the root of all ill in our cricket system and would destroy any pursuit to which it was applied.It coincides with Hilditch being promoted to head selector,Nielsen being appointed as head coach,Sutherlands' arrival and the tenure of Jack Clarke at the helm.It is the ethos that has driven the australian team to its appalling historical lows.Why on earth do we need a national talent manager?That's what the Shield and the selectors are already for.We also have have institutes of excellence to develop that talent.It is not the role of the test side to do so.

  • camcove on June 8, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    For what it's worth, my initial and continued reaction has been that there were three unlucky omissions - Katich (along with Watson the most reliable), Mackay (dogged by injury but a good performer) and McDonald (now a better player than when he played tests). The lucky inclusions are for mine Hilfy, D Hussey and arguably White. Given one of the ostensible criteria used by the selectors is likelihood to play for Australia in the next 12 months, I am surprised that Falkner, Lyons and Lynn were omitted.

  • on June 8, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    What is Cameron White doing in the Contract List. He can't bowl and is only good on flat tracks with suspect technique both against genuine fast bowling and good spin bowlers. He is the most overrated player in world cricket at the moment.

  • steve.k on June 8, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    If I was selector I would have kept Katich as he was reliable, and surely Australia can do with some of that! But one injury and he's gone. Once again, sarcastic thanks to Hilditch.

  • Doogius on June 8, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    Ok. The only real issue here is governance. Why are the contracted players (who are basically the workers) being announced by an executive (who are the management) that is currently under review. Wheres the chairman in this garbage???? Since when does an executive that may be fired make long term decisions for the good of the company. Massive, massive FAIL. Another example of how we're no longer leaders in world cricket, we are followers. We follow the corrupt examples set by other executives around the world [no names :)]

  • CherryWood_Champion on June 8, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    Greg=Destroy Chappel=Cricket ... Welcome way to handle cricketers ... sigh !!

  • ruester on June 8, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    I can't stop laughing!!! Katich dropped ......Steve Smith!!!!.....Phil Hughes........! Ashes to stay with England then.

    Question: Does anybody out there apart from AUS selectors think Steve Smith is a good player?

  • MenFromMarts on June 8, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    Brett Lee is my biggest surprise here. Surely Copeland is a better long term contract considering Brett is only limited to the shortened form. He doesn't need a CA contract to do that. Dan Christian, James Hopes and a young gun to watch Coulter-Nile are desperately unlucky over Krejza, Hilfenhaus and White. Mitch Marsh is outstanding but oerhpas a bit green - but green is what he will wear one day.

  • Wozza-CY on June 8, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    @straight_drive4 & minuszero- it would be possible to have a two tiered contracts system with Test cricket being the higher tier and naturally the higher rewarded. If CA are obsessed with innovation, this would be a good one (as opposed to pink balls!). It's no co-incidence that the two top scorers in tests since Kat returned to test cricket don't play IPL or ODI's. Cook took that decision upon himself & look at its rewards. Kat did the same & became our most consistent player. There are players that should be in the TEST squad, but I would be happy if they didn't play ODI for oz ever i.e. Copeland, O'Keefe, Katich, Clarke, Lynn, Mussey & Maddison. Converesly I beleive players like Ferguson, Doherty, Lee & Hastings will only play ODI's. Others like White, Bollinger & Hilf may not play much at all in either format. Why should a player who completes a 5 game test match series get the same amount as a guy who plays 3 ODI.It's a concept worth exploring to produce quality Test players again

  • IPLisdull on June 8, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    I find it funny to read the difference in the comments made now as to the comments made several short months ago when Australia lost the Ashes. There were thousands of calls that the aussie side was too old, the selectors too slow, too many old blokes careers drifted on and hard decisions weren't made. The selectors finally do make a very tough decision with an eye to the future (opening partnership for Ashes 2013) and now they are acting in a knee-jerk manner. It is also ironic that Katich was one of the most hated batsmen by his own country for most of his career, i cant count the number of comments read calling for his head, that he scored too slowly, that he was a make-shift opener. The ignorance of comments is astounding. I applaud the career had by Katich, and say thanks and well done. I loved watching you play for Australia and wish you all of the best. Please dont retire and take the easy meaningless cash of IPL, your guidance at Shield level is needed by cricket Australia

  • on June 8, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    This list of contracted players is absolutely RIDICULOUS!! Why do they persist with players like Krejza, SMITH and Johnson? I cannot for the life of me understand why TRENT COPELAND keeps getting ignored????? He's consistently bowled exceptionally well in the past seasons of Shield. What about Stephen O'Keefe & Mitchell Starc?? How about giving Finch a go? ...McKay and McDonald not contracted? Are you kidding me?

  • Meety on June 8, 2011, 3:36 GMT

    I don't believe Katich being cut from the squad = never to play again. If the contracted 25 is the be all and end all of the selection pool, players like Katich would never have made it back in the Oz squad years ago. If Katich is still hungry to play, & his form warrants it, he will continue playing for Oz. Several leading batsmen in Oz cricket have had serious injuries in the last few years & it has taken them, (Ferguson & Marsh), quite a while to bounce back. So there must be question on a player on the wrong side of 35 being able to get back to test standard, (not withstanding the fact that his return to NSW was promising). For what it is worth, I'd probably select Katich for the tour of SL, but behind Hughes. -- -- -- I think Doherty is extremely lucky to get a contract. Apart from his 1st 2 ODIs against SL, I feel he has been below average in the rest of his matches (Tests & ODIs), although its T20 where his real achievements lie.

  • VivGilchrist on June 8, 2011, 2:11 GMT

    The criteria should be PERFORMANCE and not potential. When potential turns into performance then a player should be picked. Copeland should be in ahead of Cummins, and OKeefe ahead of Smith. Katich does not deserve to be dropped and neither does McKay, one of our best ODI bowlers aka Bracken.

  • rohanbala on June 8, 2011, 1:41 GMT

    Very bad move by the Australian selectors in excluding Simon Katich from the list of contracted players. One does not understand the mindset of the Australian selectors. At a time when Marcus North was making only single digit scores, he was given umpteen chances. Same is the case with Cameron White. He gets selected despite very average scores. In the recent past, it was the middle order that let down the team (notably the likes of Michael Clarke) and not the top order. Simon Katich who has a good average deserves a better treatment than being dumped unceremoniously like some of his predecessors.

  • on June 8, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    Not only is this a decision devoid of all cricketing merit, its is also so lacking in grace. If you'd like to drop your best performing test opener, atleast let him know quite in advance and phase him out. The board is sending out a message loud and clear that it doesn't care two hoots for the players.

    What will be the downside to the board if the decision backfires? All these "tough" decison makers will just shrug their shoulders and move on.

  • getaclue on June 8, 2011, 0:30 GMT

    What is the deal with thinking Cummins is our next great Test hope. He had a couple of good games in the Big Bash (who cares) and has played only three sheild games. Give him a couple of years and if he is taking loads of wickets once the 'new player honeymoon period' has worn off then maybe start having a look

  • getaclue on June 8, 2011, 0:27 GMT

    why oh why do the selectors only focus their attention to the Ashes. We have some seriously big challenges prior to the next Ashes that will require our best team out on the park to have any shot of taking a couple of series. The 11 should be solely picked on form, if their is genuinely an opener in Aus domestic cricket that is in better form than Katich then it is time for Kato to go. I ask anyone to nominate someone in better touch from the SS last year. No chance. Leave it based on form to win each series as it comes along...who gives a toss about an Ashes series still 2 years away.

  • StatsNerd67 on June 8, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    This squad does not bode well for Australia's test prospects. We have: players at the end of their career (Ponting, Hussey, Lee); players limited to shorter formats (Doherty, Ferguson, Hastings, D. Hussey, Marsh, White); players who cannot command a regular place (Bollinger, Harris, Hauritz, Hilfenhaus, Hughes, Siddle); promising but unproven players (Cummins, Khawaja, Paine, Pattinson, Smith). Which leaves only Clarke, Haddin, Johnson and Watson as players who have demonstrated a capacity to play test cricket, while still having a few years left in them. Oh, and Jason Krejza's in there, too. I wonder why?

  • straight_drive4 on June 8, 2011, 0:11 GMT

    i agree with MinusZero - contacts shou;d be based around test cricket so as to encourage the young to aim for test cricket as they will get the best contract possible - you need to make it attractive for the young people. i am a massive test cricket fan and will always watch it with big interest but with all the other distractions of T20 i think this is one good way of keeping the good players in the game (amongst many other)

  • on June 7, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    If memory serves me correct, didn't Clarke and Katich have a falling out some time ago. Is it a coincidence, new Captain Clarke = Katich dropped. Although Captain's don't usually have a say in sleections, perhaps their dislike for each other was seen to be a minus rather than a positive.

    If Katich has the desire, he should go to Sheild cricket and show them just why this was a strange decision.

    Perhaps we will see Hussey follow suit after the home series this year, as well as Ponting unless both make runs but that does not seem to be a criteria for sacking players.

    The others who have been selected haven't proved themselves as yet but their chance is now and if they don't grab it with both hands then there might not be another.

    Jaques must be too old for consideration as well considering he has test experience and done well at it but youth is the policy but will it be the best policy? Time will tell.

  • MinusZero on June 7, 2011, 23:06 GMT

    The contracts should be mainly about Tests. White should not be there, he doesnt play tests, can't bowl and on last years form, can't bat either. Where is Butterworth, he had a great shield season last year. Oh thats right, he isnt from NSW.

  • spin_king4 on June 7, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    Katich was just chosen as he was after 2005 ashes as the scapegoat to cut because he is not the hard hitting commercially active player, he just plays cricket and was punished for it. He was probably cut because of his relationship with clarke, the new captian cutting those who dont agree with him, a good start for australian cricket that is. Also if it is a push for youth and a new start why is mitchell marsh absent from this list, one of the best YOUNG talents in domestic cricket at the moment? Also why white, if we are moving in a new direction he is a tried and failed player who is staying in on a few average oneday preformances. we have clarke and watson as leaders we do not need white who has clung on the fringes because of his captiancy skills. selectors and board are killing australian cricket. Why dont if we want to start fresh we clean out Cricket Australia and all the selectors and get some competent people at the head of our game in Aus.

  • cricmatters on June 7, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    Katch was a true Test match player. Gritty and resolute, who went about the business of accumulating runs with minimum fuss. He also led NSW team with aplomb. He should have been the Captain for the Test team based on his seniority and experience. As he was not known to curry favours with selectors or the media, he was always the first one on the chopping block. Australian Cricket Administration has become the proverbial old boys club where looking after mates is more important than looking into the future. So don't expect the Aussie team to bounce back any time soon.

  • spin_king4 on June 7, 2011, 22:56 GMT

    This is disgraceful. Of all the older cricketers they drop the one that has consistently preformed for australia, and the one looking at that list and domestic cricket will be the hardest to replace ( shaun marsh has potential but hughes doesn't have application or technique). What about hussey - he has done much less to deserve a central contract than katich, and with khawaja, ferguson and mitchell marsh there are much better options to replace the middle order. Also ponting, how does he deserve a contract over katich, i know he is an ex captian but look at his record over the last 2 years compared to katich, any other aus player with that record would have been dropped and lost a central contract.

  • on June 7, 2011, 22:11 GMT

    "it takes time to get a good opening partnership". we've bloody well got one at the moment, why mess with it! katich has averaged 50 opening the batting, and watson is around the same i think. so looking at that, i say that we have 2 pretty good openers. its the rest of the batting that needs a shake-up. most of our results have been batting collapses after katich and watson get out. so i don't understand how katich can't get another year at least. hussey was our best in the ashes, and after everything ponting has done for about 15 years for australia he deserves to be there. katich has been averaging 50. i'll say it again...50! but just cos he's 35, they'll pick the most average cricketer in smith to have a contract, not the top and proven performers. i'm sick of the selectors making DUMB decisions.

  • on June 7, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    What a joke! Trying to build up a young squad by dropping the guy who is hands down the most reliable batsman in the team! What an appalling show of disloyalty towards a real champ.

  • Blazedragon on June 7, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    Being young doesn't mean anything if you can't perform. I don't get how players Cameron White, Philip Hughes, Steve Smith who does nothing but hurt the team gets selected over performing players like Katich. I mean he is only 35 he could have easily played until the next Ashes if he was just given a chance. I guess so that old man Greg Chappel got sacked when he reached 30 something so he can't stand other succeeding at the age. And those of you giving Punter a hard time, he is the only reason we weren't completely humiliated at the WC QF as him and Brad Haddin were the only players that actually performed. And Hussey is probably the third best batsman right now after Watson and Haddin. And why the heck was Clint Mckay axed he is probably our best bowler after Lee and Johnson. He was the only reason why we won that game against Sri Lanka when they toured here.

  • on June 7, 2011, 19:02 GMT

    If you see the contracted players most of them have under performed heavily past year. How can you overlook a player who have scored runs consistently in test match arena for past 3 years and say we need to give chance more for the younger players.It is also funny to know that Katich is drop at a period where most of the young batsmen like Phil Hughes,Usman Khawaja are finding hard to score runs in internatinal level. If Katich was axed from the contract why didn't had they had cut Justin Langer contract when was at the time 35 years of age he was also scoring runs during that time and was only representing in the Test matches. So why should Katich loose his contract when he has been performing consistently ???Just because he is too old!!

  • on June 7, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    why so lineneant on ricky ponting, he deservesb to go from one dayers atleast and not simon katictch

  • Shanmugan on June 7, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    Dropping Katich is Poor Move. And I think they also miss service Geroge,Nannes,Mitchell Marsh

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 7, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    Australia going the windies way - if you are always planning for tomorrow - will you ever win today ?

  • V_J_ on June 7, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    It seems Hilditch got tips from Ijaj Butt on 'how to become un/popular" or is it OLDDD Guru Greg who wants to see young blood?

    world envied OZ cricket talent. now we pity them for not being able to do anything with those so called selectors messing with players

    who ever made the call to drop Katich should be given "life time ban award"

  • Jim1207 on June 7, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    I am surprised they have not fired Mike Hussey yet, you can mark my words, it would happen within a year. Chappell's policy is to find an elder team person, proclaim him as an invalid, get him out of the squad and bring in a load of youngsters who do not have a clue about international cricket. If PCB fires Afridi and WICB fires Gayle, CA says that we are not far behind those two esteemed boards, we fire Katich, now take that you rivals.

  • shawnsundar on June 7, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    Aussies can afford to let go of batsman like him, can we trade him to West Indies? :p

  • David47 on June 7, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    Yeh - apart from Katich, Cummins, Pattinson and Marsh it's the same old mob isn't it? The same mob that lost the Ashes, the same mob that lost in India, the same mob that will lose in SL and SA. Worth feeding = Clarke (and only because he's captain), Cummins, Ferguson, Paine, Harris, Hauritz, the Husseys, Khawaja, Lee, Marsh, Pattinson and Watson. The rest?? - don't get me started. Let's see - that's 12 wasted contracts that could have been given to the likes of Lynn, Finch, Butterworth, Starc, Copeland, O'Keefe etc etc. Can't wait for the outcome of "The Review".

  • shahzaibq on June 7, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    If they wanted to blood new players, they could have rested the seniors one at a time, to give some exposure to the younger ones. Rest Katich for a series, take Khwaja... Rest Watson for one, take Hughes... Phase them out, instead of pushing them off a cliff... What message does this send to 30-something players in first-class cricket??? You're too old for us, we dont care for you because of your age, and IPL is your savior??? And I don't see why boards cannot inform players about their exclusions a month or so in advance, before dropping the bomb on them... so that the player in question can at least plan his next move.

  • matbhuvi on June 7, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    CA thinks it is a bold step. Rest of the world thinks it is a stupid step. Only time will tell the true story. I hope CA is not trying to copy the management style of PCB ;)

  • on June 7, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    no serious leg spinner in the line up.I hope this Cullen Bailey plays more often this year Terry Jenner had high hopes with him.Peter George i think is unlucky here because of his Mcgrath version of line an length with bounce

  • wix99 on June 7, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    It's disappointing for Katich but the selectors needed to make the call in order to facilitate the transition to a younger team. The next step for selectors is to manage the retirement of Ponting and M. Hussey.

    A possible top six batting order 12 months from now is: Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Ferguson, S. Marsh

  • Green_and_Gold on June 7, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    @ Houns - mate we are just expressing our opinion and its not to do with this one decision its to do with the running of the Aussie cricket team over a period of time.We have not been performing and whilst the players are taking the heat it appears that the managment are not taking responsibility.

  • Gordo85 on June 7, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    They should have dropped Steve Smith out of that list. Well believe me back in 1999 I stopped going for the Australian cricket team because all their older players were just hanging around for the sake of it which in the mean time meant they were blocking up and coming players who deserved a go but some never got a shot.

  • Jim1207 on June 7, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    Whenever India played Australia in recent times, Aussies would be up at 100 for no loss because of good start being given consistently by Katich and Watson. After Katich or Watson falls the score would come to 160 for 4 easily. This is how easy to defeat australians in recent past. Now Greg Chappell has removed an important component that would make Aus reach 100/0, so it would be interesting to see how they score in future in test cricket.

  • MaxG9 on June 7, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Not a list to really strike fear into the Indians, RSA or the English. Hilditch & Greg Chappell need to be removed from their posts for Australia to move forward.

    Can't see a decent spinner in the ranks nor fast bowlers who are good in all conditions with the possible exception of an ageing & 'injury risk' Lee. Most of the fast bowlers mentioned in the list are hit the deck, hard working bowlers mostly similar to each other & show not much variety in their bowling.

    Why not blood at least 2 of Copeland, Starc, Pattinson, Hazelwood & George? Similarly Steven O'Keefe deserves an extended run.

    However, the list does not necessarily preclude anyone else being selected so hope horses for courses selections will be made in due course for the upcoming tours.

  • fazald on June 7, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    Even before announcing the names of the contracted players the top priority at this stage for ACB should have been the appointment of a new Chairman of selectors and a new panel of selectors with the necessary skill & knowledge of the game to save us from further embarrassment & humiliation. Considering the poor policies & decisions made in the recent past the selection of these contracted players by this same selection panel no doubt indicates that nothing seems to have changed in aussie cricket despite the ashes debacle & the decline in our standards in world cricket during this period.No doubt the same mistakes will be repeated. The bad news for aussie cricket fans is that Hilditch & his cronies are here to stay for years to come & the ACB doesn't seem to care despite the cries for changes at the helm.No doubt very soon we can expect our standards in world cricket to deteriorate even further & end up right at the bottom in the world cricket rankings.

  • Jim1207 on June 7, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    Katich has scored a yearly test average of 57, 48 and 47 in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He has been removed from the central contract. Ponting has scored at 38, 47, 39 and 37 in years 2007 to 2010 and he has been still retained as captain. I always feel hurt for the way they treated Steve Waugh and now Katich but Ponting seems to enjoy the favours all the time. Many of you are right, it takes really something to drop your best batsman of last three years, using his injury as an excuse. This kind of attitude would definitely make players to look for lucrative deals in IPL, wouldn't that? As one of you pointed, it is what happens when you place Greg Chappell as a chief. 6 years back, It was another left-hander Ganguly and now it is Katich. While the sheer fan support could bring Ganguly back into the team against the wishes of Chappell, I do not see Katich coming back into the test team. I feel sorry for Katich. If only someone could do something about that all.

  • stFleming on June 7, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    really said to see cricket australia cutting down Simon Katich's contract...Katich has performed superbly over the past 3 yrs and wld hv continued to score runs...not a good decision taken by selectors...

  • stFleming on June 7, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    well well really surprising to see Simon Katich being axed from the Australian team...Katich is an experienced player who can really help in developing this weak Australian team...

  • s.sreekant on June 7, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    why is mckay is out n no contract for copeland r butterworth

  • cricket-vid on June 7, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    Australian selectors went off the boil just before the 1st test. This coincided with the introduction of Greg Chappell who caused quiet a stir when he arrived on the coaching scene with India. 17 players named for the 1st Ashes Test set the trend. I've said it before and I'll say it again - don't expect things to improve anytime soon as the selectors continue to drive Aussie cricket backwards with some bizarre decisions. The no. 1 problem in Aust cricket is NOT the players or amount of talent available - it the selectors. Until that changes (please ACB sack Mr Hilditch) nothing will change.

  • crikey on June 7, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    The selectors have been getting it wrong the last 5 years. Hughes , Kawaja etc. are just not up to standard. They get talked up in the media for a while and the selectors react. Consequently they also react when proven quality batsmen go through a dry spell or are deemed too old. The selectors alone are responsible for the decline in australian cricket , not the retirement of a few stars. Players are constantly looking over their shoulders instead of enjoying their cricket.

  • on June 7, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    How's this as a guide to the test team, the best 11 players in the country (On the proviso that they're all fit); Katich (deserves it) Marsh (deserves it) Watson (Technically the best batsman for it, can dominate when the pressure is off but his experience facing the new ball means he can come in and rebuild) Hussey (The best batsman we have right now) Clarke (Cross your fingers) Hughes/Alternately Kawaja (Hughes has runs in him, but should be played away from the new ball until he can sort things out. Kawaja would be a reliable option) Haddin (no problems there) Johnson (Loose cannon, but seems to be getting more consistent, also adds depth to the batting) Hauritz (The most improved spinner in the country, and with two first class tonnes also adds to the tail end batting) Siddle (Hard, fast, The best Aussie bowler of the ashes by a mile) Harris (The second best fast bowler in Australia) Pattinson/Hazlewood/George/Starc/Cummins, all fast men of the future. but we don't need them yet.

  • mthw on June 7, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    Its official... Australians are officially the biggest whingers in the world of cricket.... Last year during the Ashes the selectors had too many old blokes in the team.... Now that they have brought in some youth to their 25 contracted players and there is still whinging.... Just because a player isn't in the 25 contracted players it doesn't mean they can't ever play for Australia... Guys like Warner, O'keefe and Copeland will get their chance in the coming years... You guys all need to relax...

  • on June 7, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    Cutting Katich removes one of the last stable batsmen from the order. Ponting is a walking wicket and has been for ages now. Clarke has rarely been able to perform under pressure. In the last Ashes series he batted like he wanted to get out. Smith is incapable of batting or bowling to test match standard so what is he doing in the team? Why does White still have a central contract, the guy's done nothing to earn a spot in test or one day cricket teams. He belongs in the same pile as David Warner, knocks afew into the crowd but is incapable of taking on the longer games. What is David Hussey doing with a central contract. the guy's 33 years old and still hasn't played test cricket, a fine age to be blooding a young player. Cummins will one day be a lethal test match weapon, but he's 18, and we have some fine fast men in Johnson, Harris and Siddle. It's not neccessary to play him before he is ready. If the selectors keep this up then the future looks very bleak.

  • on June 7, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    It's a shame what happens to players like Kato! What may have been less shocking is for Ponting to not be centrally contracted. But that's another story overall! Although Phil Hughes is contracted, for Australia's sake, i hope he doesn't feature in any starting XI. I'd rather like to see the following lineup..

    Watson, Haddin, Khawaja, Clarke, Ponting, M Hussey, Smith, Johnson, Hauritz, and not too sure about the last 2 pacers - any 2 of the following: Harris, Siddle and Hastings.

    Cummins, Pattinson, krejza, Doherty don't feature in the list just yet. Those who have age on their side, give them a couple more years.. maybe a series or 2 in between. And those with age against them just won't play.

    With the above mentioned starting XI for tests, there's a lot of variety. 3 pacers plus watto; spinner in Hauritz, plus smith and Clarke. And with Ponting down the order, a more experienced middle order.

    And all this coming from a non-Aussie fan! So like it or hate it - it is what it is!

  • cardshark08 on June 7, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    Very disturbing move by CA and it is clear that Hilditch is past his use by date. Over the past few years, Australian team selections have been a complete farce. The way they have mismanaged Clark, Lee and Hauritz (amongst others) has been ridiculous.

    Anyway, this is about Katich, who has delivered more significant innings than just about anyone else in the team recently. Think back to his two classy 80s at Lord's versus the rampaging Pakistan seamers when everyone else was at sea. Cutting that sort of player is ridiculous.

    Please move to New Zealand, Simon, we'll be glad to have you!

  • Wozza-CY on June 7, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    Surely the current contracts could have been extended until the review takes place. The very fact that there is a requirement for a review is an indication that there are many people in Australian cricket who haven't performed well in recent years. Included in this are administrators, selectors and some players. But with a new captain, new coaching staff, a selector moving on and an impending review (& hopefully some other selectors are moved on) one would think that Oz cricket is changing a course that was chartered by a previous leadership group. There are too many confusing selections here to go into. They are toying with peoples livelihood & careers, so surely they could wait a few weeks until the new regime are fully in place, results of the review are published & implemented?? Or am I being a little optimistic that there will be changes??

  • on June 7, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    So according to Hilditch the next few test series are "as tough as it gets" and his answer to that is to drop our most consistent batsman from the list and rely on unproven players to perform in his stead. i hope katich tells them where to stick it. you would think he was the reason we lost the ashes...did they consider that, (apart from a misfiring bowling attack), his absence from the top of the order put much more pressure on watson, and subsequently the middle order in the last 3 tests. much better balance for the team to blood khawaja in place of ponting if your looking for a new batsman. pontings time is done. katich still has plenty, but sadly we won't get to see it.

  • on June 7, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    I cant see anyone putting their hand up to open with Shane Watson so Katich is unlucky.(Scoring runs before he got injured) Phil Hughes is struggling at the moment no one was really setting the world on fire the Sheffiel Shield. Maybe Shaun Marsh to open, their isn't much options. Don't pick players because they are young pick players with runs & wickets on the board for their state regardless of age.

  • abhi_cricinfo on June 7, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    Here is the stats of Aussie batsmen since Jan 2008( http://tinyurl.com/3gpu9z9 ). Simon Katich has scored most number of runs and have highest average. Katich hasn't played most number of matches either. Ponting and Hussey have worse stats , they are older that Katich as well. Replace them with young players !

  • hyclass on June 7, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    It must be clear that the policy that has failed australian cricket for the last 4 years-ie-ignoring averages and form when selecting and using theories on age or imagined future performances-is still in full force.The following players are lucky on their current record,to be playing first class cricket in australia at all.Krezja,Doherty,Ferguson,Cummins and Marsh.While Marsh has his supporters,his record is appalling-6 centuries in 111 innings scored at a crawl.Khawaja is still developing and has a flawed technique outside off, as his falling average shows.Paine is a painfully slow scorer with a modest state record.Siddle has a violent action that makes him very injury prone.Smith and White have no form to recommend them at all.David Hussey with a peerless record,should be playing test cricket.O'Keefe and Copeland should also be in the test squad.The tour to Sri Lanka is a non-event.The pitches are flat and they no longer have a bowling attack.Yet another badly missed opportunity.

  • Mogadon on June 7, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    As a Pom I'll be happier to see Hughes on the teamsheet rather than Katich. Was the writing on the wall when Clarke was made skipper though? He and Katich have had their differences.

  • mangocube6 on June 7, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    Who needs a 50 averaging test batsman with tactical nous and handy left arm leggies when Australian cricket is DOING SO WELL!! The people who should be sacked of course is Hilditch and co. who pretend to be selectors. They do not and have not chosen on FORM for 5 years or more. They should resign immediately. If Simon Katich isn't in our top 25 players, I'll devour the posterior out of a rag doll.

    AND, Katich, who got seriously done in for Symonds after saving Australia against a rising India in '03-04 series against India doesn't deserve a second dose. I hope he sticks around and proves these clowns wrong, AGAIN.

  • s.sreekant on June 7, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    has mckay done anything wrong,he was doing well in odis, no butterworth r copeland???

  • Balldinho on June 7, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    Ohhhh.... no IPL Contract Katich??? HA, just discarded by your country despite being a *PATRIOT* .... unbelievable!! This is proof to LOO OUT FOR YOURSELF

  • Beertjie on June 7, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    The Happy Hooker is still at it as a selector and while he's there I can't see Oz getting onto the right track. Sad for Katto, but I agree with @dsig3 that Hughes' technique will be found out. Probably in South Africa, where they'll have worked him out since his great start a couple of years ago. Donald would have been a better bowling coach than McDermott and helped combat Steyn, etc. Now he'll be plotting the batsmen's downfall. Hussey and Watto are a better bet as openers with Punter, Ussie, and Pup in the middle order. There's a place for someone, but Steve Smith is not the one! May have to try David Hussey, just to see how he goes in Sri Lanka, but someone younger needs to be brought in - probably for the Indian tour. Wish Cummins all the best, but it's too big an ask to actually play. Best to gain some experience, and see how those currently injured progress (Hazlewood?). Agree with those who ask where's O'Keefe? But to get back to my first point, that Hilditch for you!

  • Green_and_Gold on June 7, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    So much for a merit based system hey?! Ive got no issues for bringing younger players into the team but i also belive that they need to be mentored by the older guys. I have so much pride in our side but not much for the management at the moment.

  • landl47 on June 7, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    I find this list very confusing. The one-day team is clearly on the downslope, yet almost all of the players from the recent side have been retained. The test players have already been crushed by England, but there are hardly any new names there either. Where are Copeland, Starc, MacDonald, George? There doesn't seem to be any cohesive plan to redevelop the side and yet surely now, with the Ashes and the World Cup gone, Australia should be bringing in new blood and starting from scratch.Who is going to bowl England out in 2013- Johnson, Bollinger, Harris, Hauritz, Krezja? The old guard have shown themselves no longer up to the challenge. It's time for a complete overhaul.

  • inefekt on June 7, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    Absolutely mind boggling decisions are being made over at Cricket Oz. How many beers did they down before compiling this list? Quite a few by the looks of things. These jokers are so out of touch it's not funny. Their continual dismissal of both Trent Copeland and Stephen O'Keefe beggars belief.

  • s.sreekant on June 7, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    has mckay done anything wrong to get dropped out and no butterwort r copeland???

  • on June 7, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    Katich is injuried, and keeps getting injuried what did we expect. I think this shows a good sign in australia we are not going lean against too many old heads and progress with younger players. I like the contract list, I like the fact we dropped Voges and North these boys were making money for nothing! Be warned Australia are not sitting back waiting they are pushing forward. Still unsure of Ryan Harris but all in all I agree with 90% of this list.

  • Mervo on June 7, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    Geez these guys are so dumb! I thought that these sleectors had done enough damage during the Ashes series. Why are they still there? Get rid of them. This is our national game and these drongoes are stuffing it up. Age? Katich was the only opener in the world to approach Alistair Cook and average 50 since his return. Runs count not years. They want Phillip Hughes - a slogger with no ability and no defence. And where is Trent Copeland the leading bowler in the country last year? No, have Hilfenhus still trundling along. And Hopes was the Player of the Year! No I have lost interest in Australian Cricket until they get some selectors that who we can have some trust and confidence in. Now please before it is too late.

  • xenon555 on June 7, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    If someone needs to be cut it's not Katich, Watson, or MEK Hussey. Those are Australia's 3 best test batsmen for sure. I guess Shaun Marsh will play the tests over Hughes. Test Team: 1) Watson 2) S Marsh 3) Khawaja 4) M Hussey 5) Clarke 6) Haddin 7) Smith 8) Lee (if he can take it)/ Siddle/ Hauritz (for a spinning pitch) 9) Johnson 10) Harris 11) Bollinger ODI Team: 1) Watson 2) Haddin 3) S Marsh 4) Clarke 5) M Hussey 6) White 7) Smith 8) Johnson 9) Bollinger 10) Lee 11) Hauritz

  • leftarmtweaker on June 7, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    That is quite shocking. It does not matter what age you are - if you're consistent you should be picked! In this case, Katich has not been Australia's top test batsman over the past few years but undoubtedly the most consistent. To be ousted through the youth policy is cruel ; maybe Ponting should retire - his best days are behind him. On the other hand, the inclusion of Patrick Cummins is an absolute joke and disgrace. So a teenager comes on and plays a few Twenty20 games and gets picked for their country less than a year afterwards - that is senseless! Cummins should be at least given a season or two in the Sheffield Shield to show himself properly.

  • nzcricket174 on June 7, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    This is the state of affairs Australia are in right now. They have basically forced him into a corner - forcing him into retirement. It's despicable.

  • azzaman333 on June 7, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    If Hughes is the best partner for Watson we've got, it won't be long before New Zealand are ahead of us in the test rankings.

  • HatsforBats on June 7, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    No big suprises here. Unfortunate for Kato and it will leave the batting line up without an anchor. Disappointed Copeland didn't get a contract; it might have been better to get Copeland in now, and then bring in Cummins/Starc/Hazelwood after a few more years in 1st class.

  • camma91 on June 7, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    i guess india will have to cut tendulkar, laxman and dravid then to follow precedent

  • Kteam on June 7, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    Absolutely shocking. This is what happens when you have Chappel as one of the selectors, I guess. This is rubbish. I cant think of any sense in dropping someone who has an average of 50 in the last two years. What are they thinking? Australia's days at the top are over for sure.

  • Masud_BITK on June 7, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Good move but bad luck for Katich. Phil is yet ready to replace Aussie wall Katich. Usman is surely promising and can make role as of anyone. Phil as an Opener is surely a nightmare for Australians as he has been playing last few years. This also signals Hussy and Rickie badly and they will be under huge pressure to perform. It looks they surely struggle in the next 2-3 years to be settled down...Good luck for this naked move anyway.

  • Chris_P on June 7, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    Let me understand this fully. This is the SAME Andrew Hilditch who, after the Ashes debacle where Australia lost 3 matches outright by an innings for the first time in their history, came out afterwards and stated that the selectors (he!) "Did a very good job"! And by the same logic, it appears that the most successful Australian batsman of the last 3 years loses out on a central contract whilst other lesser performers and totally untried get the lucrative deal? What happened to the statement that "only performances on the field matters"? Andrew, you just proved that theory that you don't need a long neck to be a goose!

  • on June 7, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    no wonder we got humiliated in the ashes. when you have idiots picking side like hilditch and co. we are going to be a lot of strife for years and years. katich has been our best batsman along side watson for the last 3 years. cummins is the future, but fair dinkum give him a contract when he has played a few years of first class cricket for crying out loud

  • ashlatchem on June 7, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    I can't beleive how many people are agreeing with Katich being cut. He fought his way back into the Australian team by sheer weight of runs and has been a rock for the Australian team since he has been back. I think he will be sorely missed up top him and Watto made a very good opening partnership. (barring a runout or 2.....) He was a champion, a real old school grinder the kind of player you'd want batting for your life in my opinion.

  • D-Train on June 7, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    The selectors confused me. The only consistency is their thought patterns is that they are inconsistent. They consistently play guys who shouldn't be in the team and treat the ones who should like pieces of dirt

  • mikeindex on June 7, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Test new-ball bowlers all over the world will be licking their lips at the prospect of having Hughes' technique to deal with instead of Katich's.

  • on June 7, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Katich, O'keefe's omissions are disappointing. I do agree that Cummins has got immense talent, but should have observed him for another year. Kreja inclusion is another stupid decision.

    Why no mention of Shaun Marsh for opening slot ? He is far better than Warner and Hughes in any format.

  • on June 7, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    This makes no sense! Hilditch talks about new blood so he drops Katich, but then Devid Hussey is offered a contract! He was uncontracted before! D. Hussey has played so good innings for Aus of late, but he hasn;t been as important as Katich. And Cummins is the next really young guy who the selectors have a punt on for 1-2 games, before finding the new one. How do these selectors even have jobs?

  • robheinen on June 7, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    I hope the young bowling prospects for Australia show a normal bowling action again. Let's quit with this - time and again - inaccurate slingy action. It's not bowling, it's liable to deviate and have aa piositive effect on the extra's only. Please take some bowlers with a normal upright action and make Australian cricket beautiful again.

  • Ozcricketwriter on June 7, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    I don't agree with Cummins or Pattinson and I think Krezja was very lucky but the rest are good choices. I think perhaps Katich could have been included and Dave Warner is more than a little unlucky too. I agree that a tier system could have been introduced, or else introduced 3 types of contracts, for each of the 3 types of international cricket.

  • Nerk on June 7, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    The Australian selection panel has just proved why Australia are the best team in the world. I mean, the other so called big names like India, South Africa and England wouldn't have the luxury of dropping their most consistant, solid batsmen over the last few years and keep an ex-captain who couldn't hit a beach ball. The selectors may redeem themselves by selecting S. Marsh (who is similar in temprement to Katich) as his replacement, but with the way things have gone over the last few years they will probably select Mitchell Johnson to open the batting, since his bowling doesn't justify selection anymore.

  • KingofRedLions on June 7, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    Cummins? Krejza? Really, CA?

  • wnwn on June 7, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    It shows how far Australia have fallen when you consider they once had openers like Taylor, Slater, Langer, Hayden and now they have Phil Hughes who is not as good as any of them.

  • Caino94 on June 7, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    These would be my sides for all three forms of the game for Australia:

    Test: 1. Watson 2. Ponting 3. Khawaja 4. M.Hussey 5. Clarke (c) 6. Ferguson 7. Haddin (wk) 8. Hauritz 9. Siddle 10. Hilfenhaus 11. Pattinson ODI: 1. Watson 2. Ponting 3. Marsh 4. Clarke (c) 5. Ferguson 6. M.Hussey 7. Haddin (wk) 8. Johnson 9. Hauritz 10. Lee 11. Bollinger T20: 1. Watson 2. Warner 3. Marsh 4. D.Hussey 5. White (c) 6. Christian 7. Smith 8. Johnson 9. Hastings 10. Hauritz 11. Lee

  • Something_Witty on June 7, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    I'd have much preferred to see them axe M Hussey than Katich. Katich had been a run machine since his comeback. Sad to see him go.

  • onlinegamer55 on June 7, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    I don't understand the criticizm of Phillip Hughes. After 20 years, people will be speaking of Phillip Hughes as one of the greatest Australian openers of all time. I have no doubt about that. Perhaps even they may say that Hughes is the greatest batsmen of all time behind Donald Bradman. You say that Hughes has been tried and failed. I don't understand. He hasn't failed. Correct me if I'm wrong but this guy has two centuries, two fifties in nineteen bats with an average of approx 40. Consider that he's never been given the chance to really spend a good 6 or so matches to show his ability and these are good stats. Plus he's only 22. In any case, Australia don't have any batting talent to be able to throw away people who have a 50+ FC batting average. BTW, Shaun Marsh and Callum Ferguson are not TEST match players and never will be. Their FC batting averages are too low. If you think Hughes isn't good enough, then how can someone with an FC average of 20 runs less be good enough?

  • Tigg on June 7, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    Katich had been consistently the best Test batsman for the 18 months before the Ashes. To drop him now, especially for a repeated failure like Hughes, seems harsh.

  • on June 7, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    I kind of see the point of getting rid of kiatch but i think they should of at least give a few more tests to round of his career. I also think North was hard done by as he still could be one of the great players of the future. Cummins and co are getting the royal treatment when people like voges should have some more opputinity while the other guys develop in shield. And why is doherty in, he took bugger all wickets, even against bangladesh. I also think marsh should be in the test team instead of hughes.

  • Finn92 on June 7, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    So they give a contract to a rookie like Cummins after just one season where he's done ok but Katich who has scored 2000-3000 test runs over the last couple of years at an average well in the 50's gets discarded? Warner is seen as a Test replacement? That is the funniest thing I've heard in years, he is an average Twenty20 opener with zero technique. Well looks like the Ashes will be staying with England for the next 10 years! Unless that is Australia decide an Ashes Twenty20 is the way forward as with everything else and they stop playing Tests...

  • on June 7, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    There are too many freeloaders on the list.Hastings, Pattinson ,Doherty,Siddle, Smith. Whats wrong with Trent Copeland ,he is the best damn bowler Australia has got and he hasn't even been given a look in.Hastings , Pattinson and Siddle all are open chested bowlers who would hardly get the ball to move in air.Copeland can do both ,in air and seam off pitch, at 21 and has the best average in the Sheffield shield.

  • on June 7, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    This is the most baffling list of Australian players I've seen since the world cup squad. Cummins is a fantastic bowler but with Harris, Hilfe and Siddle still going strong there's no need to rush him into the side and potentially kill off our greatest asset in the future by playing him before he is ready. Hughes is always the gamble and if the selectors think that they can slot him in for Katich then clearly they weren't watching the ashes last year (then that's possible, as they did an aweful job there too) Hughes is a wildcard, he can score big runs or crash and burn. So we have lost a stalwart and replaced him with a loose cannon, it's like trying to replace McGrath with Tait, it just doesn't work. And why have they kept White and Smith yet dispensed with Hopes. as Sifter132 said, Hopes is an experienced cricketer who would be perfect for the 7th batsman/5th bowler position. Or even better, why not keep Katich and lose Smith and white, who can't bowl or bat to test match standard.

  • Sanj747 on June 7, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    Phil Hughes is definitely not the answer. The guy doesn't even get behind the ball. Mitchell Marsh would be my choice to be on the contract list instead and open with Shaun Marsh and Watson. And for Xavier Doherty heaven help us.

  • mightymf2000 on June 7, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Why is Xavier Doethery on the list he's one of our west spinners so way pick him for the contracts let alone tests

  • Jama on June 7, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    Where is David Warner.... i expect him to play more tests than ODIs

    Similar players like jayasuriya and Sehwag have been more successful in Tests than in t20s and ODIs

  • on June 7, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Katich is gone because he's in his late thirties and isn't going to be around for the next 10 years and North's omission was overdue however I still don't think the selectors have gone far enough. Why are there only 4 players under the age of 25 in the side? I would've like to have seen the selectors make a point out of picking a squad full of the country's best players under the age of 25 and give them 2 or 3 years to prove that they are able to justify their place in test side regardless of whether Australia win lose or draw because it's not like we can do any worse with the older apparently more experienced and capable players in the side. Perhaps the selectors should take note of how AFL clubs in particular West Coast, aren't afraid of culling waning stars and bringing in younger, talented players and giving them a chance. Yes they are two different sports and their structures are different but

  • yuviyash on June 7, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    philip hughes watsoever has no technique to succed at the highest level....infact david warner has a compact technique.he shud be watson's opening partner in tests.

  • on June 7, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    What the hell !! Mussey, Voges, Mckay not offerer contract ?? I can understand for Beer, North and why on earh Krejza got contract ?? he is useless. This Hilditch will kill our cricket for sure.

  • yuviyash on June 7, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    philip hughes watsoever has no technique to succed at the highest level....infact david warner has a compact technique.he shud be watson's opening partner in tests.

  • HawK89 on June 7, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    Katich, an experienced cricketer was still managed to be run out by his opening partner "watson". If Watson can do that, then what's going to happen to the new guy? new players tend to run themselves out, let alone your partner at the other end making bad calls.

  • ajayrcs on June 7, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    Australia days are over. They are now thinking mostly about a league similar to IPL .They replacing a genuine batsman with sloggers .Hope fully for sake of Ashes (Test Cricket) they might keep Ponting till 2013 .They also prove that who watch cricket anymore. Cricket is now a business.

  • PlayingItStraight on June 7, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    The team should always be chosen on form ... and Katich should retain his spot if he's in form. If he fails a couple of times then that would be the time to look at a replacement.

  • stormy16 on June 7, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    Was suprised with Katto's ommission given he has done well but if its a push for youth then no issues but Hughes is surely not the answer. Hasnt this guy been tried and failed twice already? Sure he makes alot of domestic runs but has struggled at test level twice. The odd name is White. He has been a failure in the limited over games and doesnt play test and if youth is the plan why hold on to this guy.

  • Cam_PT on June 7, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Is it me or does this list seem like it's not keeping up with the times. There should be a tier system that involves all three formats. Beer has no contract and begs belief at why he was selected in the first place. But where is O'Keefe? Still the forgotten man?? On the flip side good to see they're thinking about Cummins but why give him a contract before he's ready?

  • shaileshacharya123 on June 7, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    I was Surprised to see the contract list cancelled of North but it was justified and was good decision

  • Foxswoop on June 7, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Maybe they should look at giving out a couple of rookie contracts as well. That way Cummins and someone like Mitchell Marsh could have some sort of security to develop their cricket as well as training with the current Australian international teams.

    As for the 25, predicatable but you wouldn't want to be a spinner in Australia seeing as how the current test one (Beer) can't get a contract.

  • andrew.henshaw on June 7, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    In principle i agree with cutting Katich. He's not getting any younger and doesn't play ODIs or T20. I think the selectors will keep Hussey/Ponting for 1 more year in order to impart some of their skills on new players before signing off too.

  • Benkl on June 7, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    He couldnt be in the same team with Clarke as captain though it would have been better to remove Clarke at least Kattich gets runs against decent teams

  • sifter132 on June 7, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Not sure why Krejza needs a contract - he's the 3rd spinner on that list, hasn't done much for Tassie and was quite average in the World Cup. Bit harsh on Kato as alexczarn points out, but it would have been a bit backward keeping 3 35+ year old batsmen from an Ashes team that was completely outplayed. Someone had to go to get Australia looking to the future. And James Hopes can probably feel a little hard done by - he was Shield player of the year last season and for me he would have been an outside chance as a bolter at #7 for the Test side. I think he's been worked out in ODIs and T20s, but he would be a real nagging bowler in Test cricket - a guy who could string some maidens together, something the current Aussie team can't do for crap.

  • on June 7, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    A shame to cut Katich, yet at least both Husseys are still there. Hope David Hussey finally gets a long-overdue Test run. How many have scored nearly 12,000 first class runs at over 55 (3 higher than S or M Waugh) and not played a Test? Trent Copeland (80 wickets at 21 average in 2 seasons) should be included ahead of Cummins (3 matches at 46 average). Likewise, Doherty and Krejza both average 47 bowling v Katich 36 (and 30 in Tests), with Katich also having 53 first class batting average. It is understood that they want to develop a spinner, yet Steve O'Keefe at 24 average appears a better option. Selectors need to take responsibility in choosing the best available based on performance rather than betting all on potential. Develop the next generation, yet do so gradually without dumping those that are performing now.

  • jonesy2 on June 7, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    and further more. no finch, mitch marsh, mckay, starc, warner, north, hopes, christian, copeland? this is seriously insanity. im actually at a loss to understand whats going on.

  • bobagorof on June 7, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    While this is a pretty clear indication that Katich won't play for Australia again, watch as many non-contracted players are drafted into the side over the next 12 months. I note also that there are only 2 Test openers (Hughes and Watson) on the list, with Marsh unlikely to play Tests any time soon. Good to see Hauritz's name there though.

  • on June 7, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    r u serious cricket australia...... katich remember how many 50's he scored in a row??? and how and why steve smith, and philip hughes still in the squad???????? and why patrick cummins..... thats it!!!! ive lost faith in autralian cricket!!!!!!

  • on June 7, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    Patrick Cummings was a great inclusion he will be Australia's No 1 in next to o time.

  • Brennan_Azza on June 7, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    Katich has a torn achilles tendon which takes 10-12 months to come back from, and even longer for someone at age 35/36, so he was never going to return to test cricket. This is a good decision by the selectors. I agree with the dropping of all those players (Voges, North, McDonald, etc.) I disagree, however, with the addition of David Hussey. He will not play test cricket and is lucky to be playing ODI/T20I. His spot should've been given to a young player... Lynn/Marsh/Maddinson. Agree with Cummins.... he's a freak....but PLEASE C.A and NSW...strictly manage his workload!!! He has the same potential as Mohammad Aamer, so we don't want him to be just another Tait who at age 26 can only bowl 3 overs at a time.

  • Brendanvio on June 7, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    How does Cummins, Pattinson and Hastings get a contract AHEAD of Trent Copeland?

    Annoying to drop Katich. Guess they want to persist with Hughes now.

  • ygkd on June 7, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    Bit stiff on a very good player whose age is not in excess of a few others. Although not naturally an opener, Katich's experience will be missed at the top of the order.

  • Dizmel on June 7, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    very dumb decision, make him go in the middle order if needed but cutting him out will kill the batting line up

  • dsig3 on June 7, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    Phil Hughes had better have his technique sorted out! Feel bad for Katich, he was a real stalwart for us when the rest of the batting looked brittle. A little worried because there are no other grinders in that batting list and all of them can be a little fragile. Well done to Cummins but I really hoped he could have been left alone in state cricket under Stuart Clark for the next few years. By getting a contract the spotlight will be on him once we get a few injuries. Long live the kat!

  • kirkmack on June 7, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    This is a joke, Katich for hughes your dreaming, warner is only good at 20/20's, Patrick Cummins is just blind faith, how come mike hussey got dropped but was included in your list of players at the bottom

  • onlinegamer55 on June 7, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    Australia's test squad that should be sent to Sri Lanka in August should be:

    1. Phillip Hughes (vice captain) 2. Nic Maddinson 3. Usman Khawaja 4. Phil Jacques 5. Shane Watson (captain) 6. Steven Smith 7. Mathew Wade 8. Nathan Hauritz 9. Mark Cameron 10. Patrick Cummins 11. Trent Copeland 12. Peter George 13. Steve O'Keefe 14. David Warner 15. Tim Paine 16. Michael Beer

    This is the FUTURE of Australian cricket. Katich, Ponting, Hussey, despite being faithful servants to Australia cricket over the years must make way. Michael Clarke needs to go back and churn runs in Shield cricket to prove he has gotton over his form slump. I hope Hilditch is heading in this direction with this contract list. Shane Watson is cpatain and Phil Hughes is vice captain.

  • on June 7, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    Good Step forward.Katich and North should go.High time Usman Khwaja got a permanant place in the test side.But upset to see Phil Jaques still not getting a recall.Plus James Hopes and Andrew McDonald should have not been cut being good utility players.Hope Mitch Marsh gets a contract next summer.

  • Shaft99 on June 7, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Australian cricket must be overflowing with batting talent if they can afford to drop Katich, although I admit he did not have a great year in 2010... 796 runs at 46.82 (slightly better than his career average of 45.03) is now considered a "failure"...only Mike Hussey did better with 50.89, Katich had a better year than Ponting, Clarke or even Watson, very unlucky indeed.

  • MinusZero on June 7, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    What a ridiculous decision. Sacking one of the most consistent players is a bad move. In the last three years Katich has scored more runs at a higher average than anyone else in the team. At the other end opening you have a player that doesn't seem to be able to score centuries (Watson). Considering they stated that "The opening partnership is critical to the success of any team" you wonder where their heads are at. They players that were cut is justified, however McDonald (when fit) last year had a great shield season. I would have dumped Hilfenhaus too.

  • TopC on June 7, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    How does Bollinger rate a contract???!!!

  • on June 7, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    Ok i understand australia wants to make a new opening partnership, but i see nothing wrong with selecting Katich and batting him at 4,5 or 6, he is Definetely deserving of a top 6 spot for aus, given his record and form over the last few years also. Moving on, Clint mckay wasnt given a contract even tho he has bowled superbly in ODI's for aus, Matt Wade missed out when he is not only a good keeper, but one of the best performing batsman in one dayers in australia. Cummins has hardly played, How can australia continue to leave out trent copeland??? Dave hussey is deserving, he shud be in test team. They want youngsters, well where is Chris Lynn?? Cam white, Hilfy, hastings, doherty should all be cut from list. Adam voges should be there he has done well in ODI's, how can u give white a contract but not voges?? baffles me. also NO STEVE O'KEEFE???? are u srs???

  • alexczarn on June 7, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Stupidity cutting Katich. He along with Watson and Hussey are arguably the most reliable Australian top order batsmen of late.

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  • alexczarn on June 7, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Stupidity cutting Katich. He along with Watson and Hussey are arguably the most reliable Australian top order batsmen of late.

  • on June 7, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    Ok i understand australia wants to make a new opening partnership, but i see nothing wrong with selecting Katich and batting him at 4,5 or 6, he is Definetely deserving of a top 6 spot for aus, given his record and form over the last few years also. Moving on, Clint mckay wasnt given a contract even tho he has bowled superbly in ODI's for aus, Matt Wade missed out when he is not only a good keeper, but one of the best performing batsman in one dayers in australia. Cummins has hardly played, How can australia continue to leave out trent copeland??? Dave hussey is deserving, he shud be in test team. They want youngsters, well where is Chris Lynn?? Cam white, Hilfy, hastings, doherty should all be cut from list. Adam voges should be there he has done well in ODI's, how can u give white a contract but not voges?? baffles me. also NO STEVE O'KEEFE???? are u srs???

  • TopC on June 7, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    How does Bollinger rate a contract???!!!

  • MinusZero on June 7, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    What a ridiculous decision. Sacking one of the most consistent players is a bad move. In the last three years Katich has scored more runs at a higher average than anyone else in the team. At the other end opening you have a player that doesn't seem to be able to score centuries (Watson). Considering they stated that "The opening partnership is critical to the success of any team" you wonder where their heads are at. They players that were cut is justified, however McDonald (when fit) last year had a great shield season. I would have dumped Hilfenhaus too.

  • Shaft99 on June 7, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Australian cricket must be overflowing with batting talent if they can afford to drop Katich, although I admit he did not have a great year in 2010... 796 runs at 46.82 (slightly better than his career average of 45.03) is now considered a "failure"...only Mike Hussey did better with 50.89, Katich had a better year than Ponting, Clarke or even Watson, very unlucky indeed.

  • on June 7, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    Good Step forward.Katich and North should go.High time Usman Khwaja got a permanant place in the test side.But upset to see Phil Jaques still not getting a recall.Plus James Hopes and Andrew McDonald should have not been cut being good utility players.Hope Mitch Marsh gets a contract next summer.

  • onlinegamer55 on June 7, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    Australia's test squad that should be sent to Sri Lanka in August should be:

    1. Phillip Hughes (vice captain) 2. Nic Maddinson 3. Usman Khawaja 4. Phil Jacques 5. Shane Watson (captain) 6. Steven Smith 7. Mathew Wade 8. Nathan Hauritz 9. Mark Cameron 10. Patrick Cummins 11. Trent Copeland 12. Peter George 13. Steve O'Keefe 14. David Warner 15. Tim Paine 16. Michael Beer

    This is the FUTURE of Australian cricket. Katich, Ponting, Hussey, despite being faithful servants to Australia cricket over the years must make way. Michael Clarke needs to go back and churn runs in Shield cricket to prove he has gotton over his form slump. I hope Hilditch is heading in this direction with this contract list. Shane Watson is cpatain and Phil Hughes is vice captain.

  • kirkmack on June 7, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    This is a joke, Katich for hughes your dreaming, warner is only good at 20/20's, Patrick Cummins is just blind faith, how come mike hussey got dropped but was included in your list of players at the bottom

  • dsig3 on June 7, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    Phil Hughes had better have his technique sorted out! Feel bad for Katich, he was a real stalwart for us when the rest of the batting looked brittle. A little worried because there are no other grinders in that batting list and all of them can be a little fragile. Well done to Cummins but I really hoped he could have been left alone in state cricket under Stuart Clark for the next few years. By getting a contract the spotlight will be on him once we get a few injuries. Long live the kat!

  • Dizmel on June 7, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    very dumb decision, make him go in the middle order if needed but cutting him out will kill the batting line up