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