Australia news February 22, 2012

Warriors move for Katich

Western Australian cricket officials have sought permission from Cricket New South Wales to speak to Simon Katich, the former Australia opener, about ending his first-class career in his home state.

Following his stint with the Perth Scorchers in the Twenty20 Big Bash League, 36-year-old Katich reportedly told teammates he counted the experience among the most enjoyable of his career. ESPNcricinfo understands the Western Australian Cricket Association have now made a formal request to negotiate a possible deal with Katich.

Katich's ties with NSW remain close, but his links to the state were weakened by his loss of the state captaincy at the start of the summer after the state chose to hand the position to allrounder Steve O'Keefe. After learning of that decision, Katich elected to sign with the Scorchers for the BBL, and warmed to the comforts of the state that he started his career in.

In the meantime, the NSW Blues have endured a most unhappy season, failing to contend for either the Sheffield Shield or the domestic limited-overs title. Their last Shield match, which Katich missed due to a concussion, ended in an innings and 323-run hiding by the Western Australia Warriors.

Lachlan Stevens, the Warriors coach, said a direct approach had not yet been made, but said he would be keen for Katich to return home and be part of a Warriors squad that has struggled for consistency in recent summers.

"I don't know where Kat's at," Stevens told reporters in Perth. "We spoke to him during the Big Bash about Big Bash situations. If Simon Katich comes to us and says that he wants to come back to Western Australia and play a season here, you'd be silly not to use a man of his experience and his calibre. If that happens, that happens, but we're not sure where that sits at the moment. We'll wait and see post-season."

The Warriors are already on the lookout for a gloveman to replace Luke Ronchi, after he announced his intention to move to New Zealand to push for an international place in the country of his birth. Tom Triffit from Tasmania and Ben Dunk from Queensland were two names raised by Stevens.

"We're going to look through all our options there. We'll open the floor and see what we can get and see who is available," Stevens said. "Triffitt is a very good young player, he's won a Shield down in Tasmania. Benny Dunk has been a good ball-striker. I'm not sure about his wicketkeeping all up. But we're not going to say 'no' to any of them. We're going to open the floor and see what happens.

"And that's not to discount our two young fellas as well in [Sam] Whiteman and [Cameron] Bancroft ... and Michael Johnson, the door is not shut on him here."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • wayne on February 23, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    Australian domestic circles seem to have no short supply of good keeper-batsmen at the moment! They could do worse than try to lure Triffit, I hear Paine is likely to be playing club cricket again soon, and he'll be Tassie's first choice keeper in all formats. Must be something in the water in Tassie - too many keepers, not enough spots :)

  • Roo on February 23, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    @Jay Griffis... Fully agree with your thoughts - it was a little tongue in cheek about Haddin & his playing future :) ... Still if I was WACA management I'd be looking at the best available options & Triffit is looking good but may need another year or two - WA already have some good young keepers coming along... Paine is back training & Redbacks are signing up a new captain with international experience - so who knows whose where next season :) ...

  • Roo on February 23, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    @MrArmchairCricket... Maybe 1-2 years is all WA need before the next generation come through... Also Katich's experience could be invaluable, along with North & Vogues - pretty deep senior group... Much depends of whether Katich moves is where he thinks he's heading...

  • aalyaan on February 23, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    plzz katich get retire now coz u play v very slow and u made this game like 1912..the australian team is playing very well since u r out of the side and all batsman is v positive and aggresive now..u r time has gone when u kept the game boaring all 5 days,thanx

  • Dummy4 on February 22, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    @ zenboomerang. I think if Haddin is dropped from the Test match team that will be it for him. I'd think he would retire. Its pretty hard to come back at 34 years old.

    Peter Nevill deserves to be NSW's first choice keeper, he has just about been NSW's best batsmen this season.

    If i was WA i'd be going after Tom Triffit. I don't think it will be to long before he is knocking on the door for higher honours.

  • Scott on February 22, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    Well, it'd certainly give the Warriors a decent top 6 with Davis, Robinson, North, Katich, Voges and Birt, but I'm not sure how it'll help the Warriors long term, given Katich may only play 2 seasons, 3 at most for them.

  • Roo on February 22, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    Going to be tough to replace Ronchi - been a great wicketkeeper/batsman for WA... It wouldn't hurt the WA selectors in looking to get Nevill from NSW as his batting would make WA one of the strongest Shield teams in the comp... Also at Nevill's age he would give years of good service while mentoring the next generation... What with Haddin likely to be NSW's keeper next summer, Nevill really needs to look for a permanent home in FC cricket...

  • Roo on February 22, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    Might be the perfect time for Katich to make the move back home to WA... He isn't going to get anywhere for NSW & will get many more chances playing in all formats in WA... His mentoring roll would also help the many youngsters coming through as well as giving them a solid top/middle order... NSW are as likely to drop him at any given moment, so the move would give him some 1-2 years security...

  • Tim on February 22, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    Probably a good move, Katich seems to have dropped out of the NSW clique. Better he provides his wealth of experience in a more positive environment. Guys like Liam Davis will really benefit from having him there.

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