Australia news October 12, 2011

Katich relinquishes New South Wales captaincy

ESPNcricinfo staff
18

Simon Katich has given up the captaincy of New South Wales and the spinner Steve O'Keefe has been appointed in his place. Described as a "succession plan" by Cricket New South Wales, the move was announced on Wednesday but first mooted during the winter, which was already a difficult time for Katich after he lost his Cricket Australia contract.

While his removal from the contract list caused Katich to unleash a well-directed stream of righteous fury at the national game's administrators and selectors, the NSW handover is believed to have been far more orderly, though the final decision took time to be announced and when it was, O'Keefe was in South Africa on Australia Twenty20 duty.

In a statement, Cricket NSW said the Blues were looking to the future by handing the leadership to O'Keefe, 26, who has captained the state side before. However, Australia's captain Michael Clarke will lead New South Wales in his rare state appearances, while Ben Rohrer will take the reins for the opening games of the season with O'Keefe's absence.

"Simon has been an outstanding captain of New South Wales for the past nine years and we are indebted to him for the service he has given in this role," David Gilbert, the chief executive of Cricket New South Wales, said. "When I discussed with him during the winter the need for a captaincy succession plan for the mid to long term, it was typical of the man that he accepted that this was the way forward. His leadership both on and off the field over the past nine years has set the benchmark."

Katich, 36, captained the Blues during their recent Champions League Twenty20 campaign in India but he will be a player only for the rest of this summer. He said he endorsed the decision for O'Keefe to take over.

"Stephen is a talented cricketer and will do an excellent job of leading the side," Katich said. "I accept and respect the decision to appoint a new captain with an eye to the future."

The move brings to an end Katich's long reign as captain, during which he led the Blues to the 2007-08 Sheffield Shield title, the 2008-09 Big Bash triumph and the 2009-10 Champions League title. Although they won other silverware during his time in charge, he did not play in the deciders due to his Australian duties.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 13, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    They reckon Cricket Australia might have something to do about dumping Katich after his coments about the national selectors.

  • on October 13, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    Great move by NSW. Giving the captaincy to the successor while Katich is still in the side. This gives him a chance to lead the side while still having Katich to be able to assist him in the crunch moments. Also takes the burden of captaincy off Katich allowing him to play his best cricket! Going to be hard to stop the run fest. What will be interesting is the first team has Jacques and Maddison so will he slip into number 3 again or continue opening?

  • Meety on October 13, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    Refreshing to see a spinner, (or even a bowler for that matter), captain a state side. The REAL surprise for me was Rohrer as stand in. I would of thought Katich could hold the reins until O'Keefe returns? Love seeing a forward progressive state organisation at work. Genuinely beleive Katich appreciated where Gilbert was coming from. Like O'keefe, I thought the Poms made a good choice giving Swanny a go, (in Broads absence), at T20s earlier this year.

  • Wozza-CY on October 13, 2011, 0:39 GMT

    Whoa...didn't see that one coming. Katich is a class act as a cricketer and a person. Hope it goes well for O'keefe.

  • on October 13, 2011, 0:23 GMT

    I like this. It should mean that David Warner will get more opportunities at the top of the order in the longer format. It should also pretty much mean O'Keefe will play every game which can only help his Australian chances.

    Warner, Maddinson, Katich, Rohrer, S Smith, Nevill, O'keefe, Hauritz, Starc, Copeland, Hazlewood.

  • Winsome on October 12, 2011, 23:51 GMT

    Very interesting move. They are saying to Kat that he's not an automatic pick and they are making O'Keefe one when he's not in the Aussie squad. I like O'Keefe a lot, I like his attitude on field and his sense of humour when interviewed and I'd rather he was sitting in the Aus T20 and ODI squads than leading NSW. He could do with some work on his catching ability though.It will be interesting to see how the Aus selectors feel about him after this SA tour.

  • jonesy2 on October 12, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    katich is a true legend. one of the greats. okeefe needs to be in the test team now surely?

  • bobagorof on October 12, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Good to see that O'Keefe will be a permanent member of the NSW side, and won't be jostling for a place with Smith. Though, it does mean that Hauritz and Casson may find limited opportunities. Hopefully the selectors will find a place for them.

  • lehaldp on October 12, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    not a great deal............

  • RandyOZ on October 12, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    I assumed Argus would be OKeefe straight into the squad. I was wrong.

  • on October 13, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    They reckon Cricket Australia might have something to do about dumping Katich after his coments about the national selectors.

  • on October 13, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    Great move by NSW. Giving the captaincy to the successor while Katich is still in the side. This gives him a chance to lead the side while still having Katich to be able to assist him in the crunch moments. Also takes the burden of captaincy off Katich allowing him to play his best cricket! Going to be hard to stop the run fest. What will be interesting is the first team has Jacques and Maddison so will he slip into number 3 again or continue opening?

  • Meety on October 13, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    Refreshing to see a spinner, (or even a bowler for that matter), captain a state side. The REAL surprise for me was Rohrer as stand in. I would of thought Katich could hold the reins until O'Keefe returns? Love seeing a forward progressive state organisation at work. Genuinely beleive Katich appreciated where Gilbert was coming from. Like O'keefe, I thought the Poms made a good choice giving Swanny a go, (in Broads absence), at T20s earlier this year.

  • Wozza-CY on October 13, 2011, 0:39 GMT

    Whoa...didn't see that one coming. Katich is a class act as a cricketer and a person. Hope it goes well for O'keefe.

  • on October 13, 2011, 0:23 GMT

    I like this. It should mean that David Warner will get more opportunities at the top of the order in the longer format. It should also pretty much mean O'Keefe will play every game which can only help his Australian chances.

    Warner, Maddinson, Katich, Rohrer, S Smith, Nevill, O'keefe, Hauritz, Starc, Copeland, Hazlewood.

  • Winsome on October 12, 2011, 23:51 GMT

    Very interesting move. They are saying to Kat that he's not an automatic pick and they are making O'Keefe one when he's not in the Aussie squad. I like O'Keefe a lot, I like his attitude on field and his sense of humour when interviewed and I'd rather he was sitting in the Aus T20 and ODI squads than leading NSW. He could do with some work on his catching ability though.It will be interesting to see how the Aus selectors feel about him after this SA tour.

  • jonesy2 on October 12, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    katich is a true legend. one of the greats. okeefe needs to be in the test team now surely?

  • bobagorof on October 12, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Good to see that O'Keefe will be a permanent member of the NSW side, and won't be jostling for a place with Smith. Though, it does mean that Hauritz and Casson may find limited opportunities. Hopefully the selectors will find a place for them.

  • lehaldp on October 12, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    not a great deal............

  • RandyOZ on October 12, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    I assumed Argus would be OKeefe straight into the squad. I was wrong.

  • KrisMcDonald on October 12, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    As if the rest of the state teams weren't in enough strife having to play against Katich in the first place, now they have to face him without the extra burden of captaincy. Would be great to see him break a few records and prove the idiots that dropped him wrong

  • AidanFX on October 12, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    poor bloke can't pull a trick

  • here2rock on October 12, 2011, 6:56 GMT

    What was wrong with Katich being captain for another one or two years? Katich is the most unlucky cricketer going around in the world cricket. I can not believe how he has been dealt by CA first and now NSW. It is a shame really. He is one gutsy player his peers now but not CA or NSW.

  • MenFromMarts on October 12, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    I enjoy O'Keefe as a cricketer - I am not sure how he translates into a captain though. He seems a tad cocksure and innapropriate with his body language, verbal language and on-field persona. In captains I like to see a more stoic and measured approach. I am not saying that Katich should have been retained it is just a more balanced figure I enjoy as a leader. Think Steve Waugh. That is why Watto would NOT be on my leadership list. Gotta keep those emotions in check.

  • on October 12, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    Katich doesn't deserve all this. FIrst, being removed from the central contract and now this...

  • straight_drive4 on October 12, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    i genuinely believe that katich playing on with the blues will help the young guys out (as he can still be a great performer with the bat) unlike ponting in the australian team who is dragging the team down with his consistently poor form. hope the kat stays on for at least another 2 years - you have done NSW proud.

  • zenboomerang on October 12, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    About time NSW got its act together and looked to the future instead of sticking with the 'old boys' brigade... been doing it for decades.

    Guess the Argus review is starting to make inroads into state competitions... about time.

    Good luck O'Keefe, about time you got a decent break. Now all we need is to bring Warner in as opener for NSW and Australia... then we will have something to look forward to...

  • Ben1989 on October 12, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    on ya Katich, such good honesty! hope to see you top the runs this season for NSW & prove the selectors the decision was made a little too early, unfortunate we'll most likely never see you in Aussie colours again as they eye to the future..

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  • Ben1989 on October 12, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    on ya Katich, such good honesty! hope to see you top the runs this season for NSW & prove the selectors the decision was made a little too early, unfortunate we'll most likely never see you in Aussie colours again as they eye to the future..

  • zenboomerang on October 12, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    About time NSW got its act together and looked to the future instead of sticking with the 'old boys' brigade... been doing it for decades.

    Guess the Argus review is starting to make inroads into state competitions... about time.

    Good luck O'Keefe, about time you got a decent break. Now all we need is to bring Warner in as opener for NSW and Australia... then we will have something to look forward to...

  • straight_drive4 on October 12, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    i genuinely believe that katich playing on with the blues will help the young guys out (as he can still be a great performer with the bat) unlike ponting in the australian team who is dragging the team down with his consistently poor form. hope the kat stays on for at least another 2 years - you have done NSW proud.

  • on October 12, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    Katich doesn't deserve all this. FIrst, being removed from the central contract and now this...

  • MenFromMarts on October 12, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    I enjoy O'Keefe as a cricketer - I am not sure how he translates into a captain though. He seems a tad cocksure and innapropriate with his body language, verbal language and on-field persona. In captains I like to see a more stoic and measured approach. I am not saying that Katich should have been retained it is just a more balanced figure I enjoy as a leader. Think Steve Waugh. That is why Watto would NOT be on my leadership list. Gotta keep those emotions in check.

  • here2rock on October 12, 2011, 6:56 GMT

    What was wrong with Katich being captain for another one or two years? Katich is the most unlucky cricketer going around in the world cricket. I can not believe how he has been dealt by CA first and now NSW. It is a shame really. He is one gutsy player his peers now but not CA or NSW.

  • AidanFX on October 12, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    poor bloke can't pull a trick

  • KrisMcDonald on October 12, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    As if the rest of the state teams weren't in enough strife having to play against Katich in the first place, now they have to face him without the extra burden of captaincy. Would be great to see him break a few records and prove the idiots that dropped him wrong

  • RandyOZ on October 12, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    I assumed Argus would be OKeefe straight into the squad. I was wrong.

  • lehaldp on October 12, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    not a great deal............