Australia news June 12, 2012

Katich ends Australian first-class career

Simon Katich has announced his retirement from first-class cricket in Australia, ending a Sheffield Shield career that spanned 16 seasons for Western Australia and New South Wales.

Katich, 36, will play on for Hampshire this year and his decision leaves the door open to continue his county career if he chooses to do so next year. He has also committed to playing for the Perth Scorchers in the Champions League Twenty20 later this year but said in a statement that with a young family and a desire for extended time at home, he had decided to reassess his priorities.

Just over 12 months ago, Katich was considered an important member of the Test side but he was the primary victim of a move for change following the 2010-11 Ashes debacle. Katich lost his Cricket Australia contract last year and with it any realistic chance of adding to his 56 Tests, especially after he lashed out at the way Australian cricket was run during a frank press conference.

His replacement at the top of the order, Phillip Hughes, was unable to hold his place but Katich was not called on again, and the Australians are now using a David Warner-Ed Cowan opening partnership in Test cricket. Katich will leave the game having scored 4188 Test runs at 45.03, while he can still add to his first-class tally of 19,667 runs this county season.

A long-time captain of New South Wales after moving from Western Australia, Katich lost the state leadership last summer as the Blues looked to blood younger leaders. However, he kept scoring runs for New South Wales and made 483 at 43.90 in the Sheffield Shield last season.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here