Australia news December 5, 2011

Katich reprimanded over Clarke comments

ESPNcricinfo staff

Simon Katich is looking forward to putting his disciplinary hearing behind him after he escaped suspension from Cricket Australia for cutting comments he made about Michael Clarke in October. Katich pleaded guilty at a CA Code of Behaviour hearing, chaired by retired county court judge Gordon Lewis in Melbourne on Monday, and was handed an official reprimand.

"It's not something you want to go through but I'm glad it's out of the way now and very grateful for Commissioner Lewis' findings," Katich said on SEN radio after the hearing.

"Obviously I said things for a reason. At the time I was still coming to terms with the mixed messages I'd been receiving over the previous few months from the chairman of selectors and from other people involved in the team. From that point of view I said what I said, but at the end of the day now I just want to move forward and play some good cricket for New South Wales and put this behind me."

The hearing was delayed from its original date of November 21 due to scheduling conflicts, after Katich was charged by Cricket Australia for his comments on October 28, when he suggested that his dressing-room stoush with Clarke in 2009 had contributed to his axing from Australia's side. After scoring a Sheffield Shield hundred, Katich was asked whether the appointment of a new chairman of selectors, John Inverarity, would help his cause in winning a recall.

"It's pleasing to hear but I think you don't have to be Einstein to figure out that it's not just the selectors that had a part in sending me on my way," Katich said at the time. "I mean to be brutally honest obviously what happened in the dressing room here a few years ago didn't help my cause. And obviously the captain and coach are selectors.

"Just because he [Inverarity] is going to be chairman of selectors or whatever role it is I wouldn't have thought that'd make too much difference."

When asked if he could expect to play for Australia again while Clarke remained captain, Katich said: "I wouldn't have thought so. That's probably why I'm in this position in the first place."

In the dressing rooms after the 2009 Sydney Test, Katich grabbed the then vice-captain Clarke by the throat after an argument over when the team song would be sung. After Monday's hearing, Katich softened his tone when asked about his relationship with Clarke.

"We were able to play cricket for a good couple of years there in the same team without it causing any problems, so from my point of view I didn't see any dramas in that respect," Katich said. "I guess I have just been searching for answers as to why I wasn't in the team, given that I felt I'd been performing to a reasonable standard over the last three years."

Katich was set to fly back to Canberra on Monday evening to play in the Sheffield Shield match between New South Wales and Tasmania at Manuka Oval, starting on Tuesday.

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