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Action against Katich unlikely - Sutherland

Daniel Brettig and Brydon Coverdale

June 10, 2011

Comments: 43 | Text size: A | A

Simon Katich speaks at a press conference, Sydney, June 10, 2011
James Sutherland "doesn't see" Cricket Australia taking action against Simon Katich for his harsh words © Getty Images
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James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, doubts any action will be taken against Simon Katich for his tirade against CA and the national selectors.

However Sutherland has taken issue with Katich's contention that the naming of a 17-man squad prior to the first Ashes Test in Brisbane last year, in order to appease the demands of the CA marketing department, had destabilised the team.

CA were sent scurrying for a response by Katich's bold address at the SCG on Friday morning, and Sutherland emerged from a concurrent board meeting to say it was unlikely that Katich would be penalised before his central contract expired on June 30.

"I understand that Simon's disappointed and that he's made comments along those lines today but I don't see that CA will be taking action for those comments," Sutherland said. "My view and the Cricket Australia board's view is that it is right for people to be able to make their subjective judgements but it crosses the line when there are any suggestions about the integrity of individual members of the selection panel, the panel as a group, or the processes they engage in to make these selections.

"I am not necessarily saying Simon has entirely called them into question in that fashion but Cricket Australia stands by them in terms of their integrity and the process they go through."

Sutherland said he was "not happy" with Katich's public pronouncements but would seek him out personally to discuss them rather than charging him with bringing the game into disrepute over public comments, an area usually within the remit of the head of cricket operations, Michael Brown.

"The simple answer is yes, Simon could have expressed his views more privately. But he chose to do that in the manner that he did," Sutherland said. "I'm not making a complaint about that. I know Simon did have some discussions with the Australian Cricketers' Association to explore that. If that's not some sort of avenue to at least understand what his rights might be then I'm not sure what is."

More divisive was Katich's view that the Ashes campaign had been damaged by the selection of a 17-man squad that could be announced via a public event at Sydney's Circular Quay. The announcement was a fizzer, attracting few spectators or television viewers, and things would only get worse from there.

"It's fair to say that has come up from time to time in discussions, certainly something in the review. My personal view on that is that as professional sportsman you live in a world of competition," Sutherland said. "You compete against other teams, you compete against other people for spots in teams, and if the process of selection means you have a squad of 13 or 14 or whatever it might be before a Test match, or even 17, well so be it.

"People live in that competitive world, and if anyone can cope with that, it is elite athletes, elite cricketers. I don't see how someone who has the mental toughness and strength to compete in Test cricket at the highest level how that should affect them too much. At the same time I acknowledge that it wasn't an ideal situation, and perhaps looking back on it we would've done it slightly differently."

As for the growing tide of opinion that the selectors should be full-time employees, Sutherland said there were "no immediate plans" to change the current system, but hinted that may change after the Argus review had concluded.

"At the moment we have a selection panel of three, Greg Chappell is a full-time employee, there are no immediate plans for that, but there is a review under way and it is quite obvious that one of the topics of discussion within the review process has been about selection," he said.

Daniel Brettig and Brydon Coverdale are assistant editors at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Clyde on (June 13, 2011, 10:29 GMT)

I don't see any action being taken against Mr Sutherland.

Posted by Okakaboka on (June 12, 2011, 10:05 GMT)

Yes...Action should be taken against Katich. He should be flogged...errrr...um....No! Given a medal for trying to save Australian Cricket from becoming a laughing stock. Hilditch, Neilsen, Sutherland & Co have destroyed our National team. Careers have been ruined by these SFB clowns. Just read the number of bloggers who agree. Some players seem to have the Roth of Hilditch: What did O'Keefe, Hodge, Copeland, etc say or do?????? "His mum wears Army boots????" We should all send Hilditch a plastic flower that squirts water, a big red plastic nose and a propeller hat. HILDITCH....YOU ARE SO FIRED!!!!!!

Posted by Rahul_78 on (June 12, 2011, 4:30 GMT)

@crikey Well Said! 100% agree with you. What has happened has been shameful and disgraceful. Morally and professionally.

Posted by Purdey on (June 11, 2011, 15:53 GMT)

Sutherland came into his job at a good time for Australian cricket and for a long time didn't need to make any hard decisions. Things have changed and Sutherland has been exposed. I agree with the comment that he looked like John Cleese this week. Why would you even try to justify the stupidity of the squad of 17? Then there is the looming disaster of the Big Bash League. Who seriously thinks that the Australian public is going to embrace a competition which will see someone playing Shield and 50 overs cricket (yes, they got rid of that 45 over split innings nonsense) for one State and 20 overs for another. As a concept it is bound to fail. It is sad that Australian cricket has got itself into this position. I also agree with the comment that CA is akin to our government. They are both weak, prone to stupid decisions and making a mess of things generally.

Posted by popcorn on (June 11, 2011, 12:41 GMT)

And yet, we have no explanation for dropping Simon Katich. Instead, like in 2005 when he was dropped after The Ashes,he has been asked to pile up runs - he did that then and got re - selected. But this time, he is already scoring runs! And Michael Clarke is adding his voice tio this? ! Simon Katich should score runs for NSW, and when he gets a call to play again for the Australian Test Team,he should say, - p - - - - s.

Posted by   on (June 11, 2011, 9:17 GMT)

Sutherland has no spine & sticks with Hilditch who makes damaging decisions - drop him. Hilditch is a joke and apparently doesn't rate our spinners for more than 2 Tests - drop him. Clarke can't score runs when the team needs them & having a captain who's nickname is 'Pup' doesn't bode well - drop him. Ponting & both Husseys are too old - drop them. If Katich was dropped for 'rebuilding' then so should the above. Pack of idiots.

Posted by AndrewFromOz on (June 11, 2011, 7:20 GMT)

Sutherland is sounding like John Cleese in the stoning scene from "The Life of Brian" warning Katich: "You are only making it worse for yourself". Fair dinkum! Monty Python would be better selectors than the current crop of clowns!

Posted by   on (June 11, 2011, 6:31 GMT)

My understanding is that the selection criteria for our national team is based on merit. The best XI possible who are fit enough to play on the day. Now they are trying to tell us it's the XI who 'might' be good enough to play in the 'future' and it's done by selectors who suddenly think they are psychologists and fortune tellers! You may as well select the team from the local U 16's because they 'might' be good enough to play in the future and they 'will' be available the Ashes series in 2020

Posted by   on (June 11, 2011, 6:16 GMT)

"At the same time I acknowledge that it wasn't an ideal situation, and perhaps looking back on it we would've done it slightly differently."

That's a strange way of admitting that it was an incredibly, incredibly stupid thing to do. Perhaps he should choose his words better.

Posted by   on (June 11, 2011, 5:55 GMT)

@AndyZaltzmannsHair Respect!

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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