Australia news October 24, 2013

CA admits mistake in dropping Katich

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Two years and four months after the decision was made to summarily remove Simon Katich from the list of contracted players in order to draft more youth into the Test team, Cricket Australia has conceded that it was a poor decision on their part.

The chairman, Wally Edwards, made the admission while stressing the importance of experience in the national team, and suggesting that the lack of it had been the major reason for a pair of dire tours to India and England this year.

Katich's dumping has been decried by many, not least by the man himself, and most recently, former captain Ricky Ponting called it "as dumb a non-selection as any during my time in the Australian team" in his autobiography, At the Close of Play. Edwards, who was not CA chairman at the time, said that the decision to remove Katich had been considered part of the team's regeneration, but must now be seen for what it was: a mistake.

"We as a board, and with management talk continuously about our transition, we knew we were going from a super side to a new side, and we worked very hard at it," Edwards said following CA's AGM in Melbourne. "There was a focus with the selectors and there was a lot of decisions made that in hindsight you probably wish they weren't. But they were made with an attempt to move from a very strong side to a new side.

"I would put the dropping of Simon Katich in that corner. That was a decision made by the selectors at the time because you had three guys - Katich, Ponting and Hussey - all the same age and three key batters who were all going to go at once. The selectors made a judgment call to try to transition through that and didn't get it right. Katich would've been a valuable player. But that's their call.

"The reality of life is experience is a big part in winning Test matches and you only have to look at the experience levels of the South African team, the English team and our team to see where we're at. I'm confident we're on the right path."

The folly of the Katich decision, made by a selection panel that included Andrew Hilditch as chairman alongside Greg Chappell and Jamie Cox, has been highlighted in recent weeks by his strong showings for Western Australia in the domestic limited-overs competition, long after both Ponting and Michael Hussey retired. The chief executive, James Sutherland, who endorsed the decision at the time, has now said that his experience was "invaluable" to the Test team.

"We are working through a cycle that will see the Australian team get back on top in the foreseeable future," Sutherland said. "People don't understand the challenges of developing a cricket team with only 11 players. Experience is invaluable at Test level," he said. "Unless you build experience and develop the hardness of playing Test cricket at the highest level, you cannot consistently perform. It's very difficult to manage that transition.

"What do you do with a team that is very successful? Do you put more young people into that team in order to create opportunities to blood youth, and in the process drop some of the greats of the game. How do you manage that transition? It's different in a football code where you've got 22 players and you can have five or six players who are there racking up games and getting experience. A Test cricket team is a different environment.

"But I'm not sitting here making excuses. We're very much focused on the future, and we're working on a transition that will see the Australian cricket team back to where we all want it to be."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Micky.Panda on October 26, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Katich was dropped at a time he was injured after 3 years of being "the" Australian batsman. They wanted a new young opener. Katich could easily have moved to No. 3, his rightful position as the best Australian batsman in the team. Ponting, Clarke and Hussey were not exactly in peak form at the time.

    O.K. He and Clarke were not best pals. Who cares? Greatly different personalities. People of different styles have to learn to work together despite strong disagreements.

    Consistently Australia has been over obsessed by picking youth. Experience is far more important. Pick those players that have been performing at top level consistently for years. It does not matter if they are only 2 years away from retirement.

    O.K. When a young player of brilliance comes along, like a Tendulkar, or a Ponting, they must also be picked. Focus on reliability first, suitability for the venue (green track or spinners paradise), brilliance 3rd and youth is just not part of the equation. Stability? Ha ha!

  • popcorn on October 26, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    Check this out, and you will agree that I am not wrong. Australia's downward slide began when Simon Katich was dropped for Phil Hughes. Both Hughes and Warner have been disasters for Australian Test Cricket. They just don't know how to stay put at the crease. They flash, they nick, thay cannot graft like Justin Langer or Simon Katich. and when the Opening partnership does noy lay a solid foundation, the opposition moves into the crack in the door. At least now, having admitted their mistake, I hope the Selectors will stay with Ed Cowan and Chris Rogers as openers throughout The Ashes Series in Australia, and make it a mandate for the State Side Coaches and COE's Graeme Hick to groom a crop of Test Openers.

  • OneEyedAussie on October 25, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    @ Chris_P on (October 25, 2013, 6:28 GMT) : His averages in the last two series he participated in were 27.5 and 24.5 (over a total of 8 innings). Hardly Bradman like. But as I said, he should have been persisted with.

  • on October 25, 2013, 21:26 GMT

    and there we have it. 35 and injured and averaging 23 and three guys over 35 and the team in decline but nobody wants to talk about metrics.

    I too am glad I am not a selector because the Australian cricket fan can never ever deal with seeing a hero retire. maybe you should be like me and revel in days like 77-8 when we changed 5 guys for the last test against India and won. we were lucky to see guys for 5 years back then, and we appreciated them when they were there and welcomed the next one that came in. when we picked guys at 19 because that was the Australian way.

    selection as if it mattered, rather than sinecure.

    it's a cricket team, not the Beatles.

    or look at the AFL. list management. for the future - in the form of continued success.

    anyway, my piece has been said, I flushed out a couple of fellow travellers, we might go with Warnie and John Benaud and start a rival Logan's Run site.

  • Green_and_Gold on October 25, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    If Kat kept his rants to just the one when he was first axed i think he would have been in contention for a call back with rogers. If memory recalls correctly i think he had a second public spat about something - if only he kept that one to himself. I think he was right to be annoyed with how he was treated - it was a shame to see him go out in that way. At least he gets some acknowledgement at an official level now.

  • Green_and_Gold on October 25, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    @Peter JW - your comments make me glad that your not a selector. I would have hated to miss the likes of Ponting and Hussey playing live when i went to the SCG to watch them play India (i was disappointed that they didnt make it to ENG for the Ashes). You just have to look at players like Ponting and a few of the other old boys of that generation who go back to state / county cricket and rack up the runs (roger included). They are still way ahead of the younger generation - esp their grit for run scoring. You cant put a price on 10,000 runs, the experience of the player, their work ethic and leadership off the field.

  • on October 25, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    It was obvious that CA had realised they made a mistake when they picked Chris Rogers. With all respect due to Rogers (and there is a fair bit of that), he's the Katich that you pick when you can't pick Katich.

    Katich was shafted originally because he hated Michael Clarke. And fair call too, despite Clarke being a fine cricketer he's very unlikeable - and part of the reason for that is his treatment of Katich.

    Anyway, I do agree with Peter that we should be giving some of these guys a go when they're young. Unfortunately I don't think too many of the young players are in the same class as Hayden Martyn Langer Ponting S Waugh M Clarke

  • on October 25, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Ed, fair enough. I would have dropped all 3 of the old guys. I would have dropped Hayden, Langer, Martyn. Nobody gets better as they get older. Except Hussey, and he was terrible for 12-18 months.

    I still remember the golden days of the batting elites being blooded at 19-22 - Hayden Martyn Langer Ponting S Waugh M Clarke all in that boat. I remember Greg Chappell saying he woke up one day at 34 and his eyes had gone - ditto Barry Richards.

    That's my philosophy. Get em in young and get em out before they go grey. We are not England! As Trotsky might have said, selection is a school, not a science in the pure sense.

    I reckon if it weren't for Hussey we wouldn't even be debating this. But for every Mike HUssey I can think of 10 Marcus North... Ross Edwards... Brad Hidge types.

    if in doubt, go for youth. today doesn't matter, it's all about tomorrow - well, 2-3 years time when we again have the best and mostest batting line up in the world.

    not that I really care. I hate batsmen!

  • milepost on October 25, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    Agree with rappedinthepads "We're probably the only sport that is happy to mess up the present for the joys of some distant future". Far too much emphasis is based on potential and planning for the future. Pick the best team to win the match. Develop state cricketers, make the competition tough. How complicated is it?

  • on October 25, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    Peter! I didn't mean to make it personal. My apologies! I think a lot of people like me are in the similar view on here that Katich got shafted at the time. I understand your point of view and actually agree with alot of other the points you said. However as I pointed out in my previous post, the stats are more in Katich's favor if you take a wider sample of 5matches that included a tour of India that Australian batsman always find hard. Selectors don't get it right all the time but it's hard not to deny that selections in recent times have not been justified. The problem is there has been no accountability for these continued mistakes and in any other business a performance review would of been done and action would of been done, but unfortunately sport administration doesn't have the same accountability.

  • Micky.Panda on October 26, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Katich was dropped at a time he was injured after 3 years of being "the" Australian batsman. They wanted a new young opener. Katich could easily have moved to No. 3, his rightful position as the best Australian batsman in the team. Ponting, Clarke and Hussey were not exactly in peak form at the time.

    O.K. He and Clarke were not best pals. Who cares? Greatly different personalities. People of different styles have to learn to work together despite strong disagreements.

    Consistently Australia has been over obsessed by picking youth. Experience is far more important. Pick those players that have been performing at top level consistently for years. It does not matter if they are only 2 years away from retirement.

    O.K. When a young player of brilliance comes along, like a Tendulkar, or a Ponting, they must also be picked. Focus on reliability first, suitability for the venue (green track or spinners paradise), brilliance 3rd and youth is just not part of the equation. Stability? Ha ha!

  • popcorn on October 26, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    Check this out, and you will agree that I am not wrong. Australia's downward slide began when Simon Katich was dropped for Phil Hughes. Both Hughes and Warner have been disasters for Australian Test Cricket. They just don't know how to stay put at the crease. They flash, they nick, thay cannot graft like Justin Langer or Simon Katich. and when the Opening partnership does noy lay a solid foundation, the opposition moves into the crack in the door. At least now, having admitted their mistake, I hope the Selectors will stay with Ed Cowan and Chris Rogers as openers throughout The Ashes Series in Australia, and make it a mandate for the State Side Coaches and COE's Graeme Hick to groom a crop of Test Openers.

  • OneEyedAussie on October 25, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    @ Chris_P on (October 25, 2013, 6:28 GMT) : His averages in the last two series he participated in were 27.5 and 24.5 (over a total of 8 innings). Hardly Bradman like. But as I said, he should have been persisted with.

  • on October 25, 2013, 21:26 GMT

    and there we have it. 35 and injured and averaging 23 and three guys over 35 and the team in decline but nobody wants to talk about metrics.

    I too am glad I am not a selector because the Australian cricket fan can never ever deal with seeing a hero retire. maybe you should be like me and revel in days like 77-8 when we changed 5 guys for the last test against India and won. we were lucky to see guys for 5 years back then, and we appreciated them when they were there and welcomed the next one that came in. when we picked guys at 19 because that was the Australian way.

    selection as if it mattered, rather than sinecure.

    it's a cricket team, not the Beatles.

    or look at the AFL. list management. for the future - in the form of continued success.

    anyway, my piece has been said, I flushed out a couple of fellow travellers, we might go with Warnie and John Benaud and start a rival Logan's Run site.

  • Green_and_Gold on October 25, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    If Kat kept his rants to just the one when he was first axed i think he would have been in contention for a call back with rogers. If memory recalls correctly i think he had a second public spat about something - if only he kept that one to himself. I think he was right to be annoyed with how he was treated - it was a shame to see him go out in that way. At least he gets some acknowledgement at an official level now.

  • Green_and_Gold on October 25, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    @Peter JW - your comments make me glad that your not a selector. I would have hated to miss the likes of Ponting and Hussey playing live when i went to the SCG to watch them play India (i was disappointed that they didnt make it to ENG for the Ashes). You just have to look at players like Ponting and a few of the other old boys of that generation who go back to state / county cricket and rack up the runs (roger included). They are still way ahead of the younger generation - esp their grit for run scoring. You cant put a price on 10,000 runs, the experience of the player, their work ethic and leadership off the field.

  • on October 25, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    It was obvious that CA had realised they made a mistake when they picked Chris Rogers. With all respect due to Rogers (and there is a fair bit of that), he's the Katich that you pick when you can't pick Katich.

    Katich was shafted originally because he hated Michael Clarke. And fair call too, despite Clarke being a fine cricketer he's very unlikeable - and part of the reason for that is his treatment of Katich.

    Anyway, I do agree with Peter that we should be giving some of these guys a go when they're young. Unfortunately I don't think too many of the young players are in the same class as Hayden Martyn Langer Ponting S Waugh M Clarke

  • on October 25, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Ed, fair enough. I would have dropped all 3 of the old guys. I would have dropped Hayden, Langer, Martyn. Nobody gets better as they get older. Except Hussey, and he was terrible for 12-18 months.

    I still remember the golden days of the batting elites being blooded at 19-22 - Hayden Martyn Langer Ponting S Waugh M Clarke all in that boat. I remember Greg Chappell saying he woke up one day at 34 and his eyes had gone - ditto Barry Richards.

    That's my philosophy. Get em in young and get em out before they go grey. We are not England! As Trotsky might have said, selection is a school, not a science in the pure sense.

    I reckon if it weren't for Hussey we wouldn't even be debating this. But for every Mike HUssey I can think of 10 Marcus North... Ross Edwards... Brad Hidge types.

    if in doubt, go for youth. today doesn't matter, it's all about tomorrow - well, 2-3 years time when we again have the best and mostest batting line up in the world.

    not that I really care. I hate batsmen!

  • milepost on October 25, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    Agree with rappedinthepads "We're probably the only sport that is happy to mess up the present for the joys of some distant future". Far too much emphasis is based on potential and planning for the future. Pick the best team to win the match. Develop state cricketers, make the competition tough. How complicated is it?

  • on October 25, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    Peter! I didn't mean to make it personal. My apologies! I think a lot of people like me are in the similar view on here that Katich got shafted at the time. I understand your point of view and actually agree with alot of other the points you said. However as I pointed out in my previous post, the stats are more in Katich's favor if you take a wider sample of 5matches that included a tour of India that Australian batsman always find hard. Selectors don't get it right all the time but it's hard not to deny that selections in recent times have not been justified. The problem is there has been no accountability for these continued mistakes and in any other business a performance review would of been done and action would of been done, but unfortunately sport administration doesn't have the same accountability.

  • landl47 on October 25, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    @wellrounded87: I guess technically Warner is still 26, but since his birthday is the day after tomorrow... (happy birthday, Dave). Khawaja is also 27 this year and he's gone backwards over the last 2 years. When he made his debut against England in 2011 he was averaging about 50, now it's barely 40 and sliding. Doolan is 28 next month, has an average of 37 and (count 'em) 5 FC centuries.

    Hussey and Rogers averaged about 50 through their careers (so did David Hussey). They weren't picked until late on in their careers, and DH has never been picked at all, but it wasn't because they were late developers. There were just a lot of good players around; now there aren't.

    Qld's good young W/K and Agar might become a batsman is hardly a wealth of talent, is it? I honestly don't remember a time when the Aus batting cupboard was so bare of prospects. Someone needs to do something and quickly. If Aus has a problem now, think what it will be like in 5 years.

  • Chris_P on October 25, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    @OneEyedAussie. "katich's form was pretty average prior to being dropped" Huh? He had scored over 1,000 & averaged nearly 60 in the 12 months prior? Give me "average form" any day!.. Speechless!

  • Shaggy076 on October 25, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    Peter Warrington; Its pretty hard to argue Katich retention on those stats, a 35 year old averaging 23 that had spent 6 months out of the game injured. Pretty easy choice I would have thought.

  • Simoc on October 25, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    What a hopeless chairman Wally Edwards is. Katich always knew he was not on the agenda of the new selection panel and bringing out dross like this now shows the lack of quality at the top. Katich has not been missed one iota. He was not a champion in any form of the game. Good at tests , state level, captaincy and that's pretty good. Boring as to watch bat.

  • on October 25, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    Simon Katich is fine player both against spin and fast bowling. Australia should reconsider and draft him in the team for Ashes.Simon Katich reminds me of Ian Redpath.

  • rappedonthepads on October 25, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    We're probably the only sport that is happy to mess up the present for the joys of some distant future.

  • nzcricket174 on October 25, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    The only time age should become a factor is when they are becoming slow in the field or getting out in awkward fashion, multiple times, e.g. by bouncers. Katich should not have been dropped. He averaged over 50 for a period of about 4-5 years, which should automatically get you selected.

  • on October 25, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Ed, take a chill. Katich scored 13, 11, 6, 37, 43, 24, 50. 4, 0 and 43 in his last 5 tests, or 231 at 23. Given age, decline, injury, team structure and series result, a completely justifiable decision. The alternative is to do what they did with hussey, let his past blind them to his decline, give him a chance to get back into form. , and then retire at a terrible time. Selection is hard and we don't agree but please don't accuse me of fabricating stats. I am not that guy!

  • D.V.C. on October 25, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    If I was Simon Katich I'd be announcing this afternoon that I am available for selection.

  • Little_Aussie_Battler on October 25, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    If things do not improve soon in the Aussie team. I forsee the MCG on Boxing day when near on 100,000 spectators will be boo-ing Pup Clarke on his way to and from the crease.

    The media could blame the public, but is it really their fault when cricket has forced this on them?

  • DragonCricketer on October 25, 2013, 1:03 GMT

    The solution is staring us all in the face. Drop Clarke and put in Katich. Also, who was responsible for Wally Edwards selection in the 73/74 Ashes series. He was very ordinary. His brother Ross was was good though.

  • Shaggy076 on October 25, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    To all those implicating Clarke in the Katich sacking, really must think that the vice-captain has more pull than the captain. Yes Katich and Clarke had a blue, but Ponting was still captain at the time. I can see where cricket Australia were coming from they could see ahead and thought both Hussey and Ponting would still be around. They didn't want all 3 to go at the same time but in the end Hussey and Ponting decided to retire earlier than they thought. If they decided to continue with Katich and all three decided to retire at the same time then they would have been in a bigger mess as it is they have had chances to try and blood cricketers. We can add experience to the team by bringing in Klinger - not all is lost. There was always going to be some pain with three great cricketers getting older but I do believe our current crop will be very competitive in the upcoming Ashes.

  • MinusZero on October 24, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    Australian Cricket selections still need work. Good ODI players dont make good test players. eg Watson

  • Cantbowlcantbat on October 24, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    I don't often agree with landl47, but I do this time. How can Sutherland say that he sees Oz becoming a super team again shortly? Recent results don't support that. He's just covering up for the fact that the mistakes he and the others at CA made a few years ago will have long term repercussions. Its a no-brainer that you only replace older players with young players that deserve to be selected. Katich was better than any of the young openers around at the time he was sacked. So far, everyone but Sutherland has suffered for his incompetence- the Oz fans, the players, Tim Nielsen.

  • wellrounded87 on October 24, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    @landl47 Warner and Khawaja are 26. I can name a few other batsmen who weren't "setting the test world on fire" at 26: Matt Hayden, Steve Waugh, Justin Langer, Mark Taylor. In fact Warner is doing a much better job of things than those guys were at the same age. As he gets more experience at test level he will continue to develop.

    Why are aussie fans so impatient. Not everyone is going to be a Michael Clarke or Ricky Ponting. A lot of batsmen need time to master their craft. Michael Hussey is the perfect example. Chris Rogers is another (though he really should have gotten a callup about 5 years ago, but even then he wasn't young)

    As for young batsmen, Burns is going through a form slump it happens especially to young batsmen. Maddinson has promise. Alex Doolan has promise. QLD's new young wicket keeper looks pretty good, Agar might develop into a batsmen. Smith is hitting good form, plus a few guys doing well in shorter formats that might develop into longer form cricketers

  • Cricket_theBestGame on October 24, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    whats wrong with bringing back katich now? isn't he scoring runs? doesn't he have experience? if tendulkar, jaysuria, misbah, ponting (i'm sure there a more) who kept playing above the age of 35yrs then why can't katich be brought back?

    its not like he is making a debut. he will give aust team a perfect balance for at least 2yrs.

    brad hodge is another player who was discriminated against for whatever reason during pontings time. hodge said in a current affair not so long ago that 'you can't do much when the coach and captain don't want you'. ponting should tell us why? !!

    and one mistake CA should make in haste now is to dump sutherland!!!

  • bobagorof on October 24, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    I disagreed with the dropping of Katich at the time, but not for the reasons mentioned here. Yes, there were 3 batsmen aged 35 in the team and management were looking at the situation of them all retiring at the same time. They weren't to know that Katich would play on longer than either Ponting or Hussey. The problem I had at the time was that Katich was not the right man to drop - Ponting was. Katich was the stable element in a couple of opening partnerships that Australia had had over the previous couple of years - Katich/Hughes, Katich/Watson. Over each of the previous 2 years Katich had averaged 47 (though had had a lean trot in his last 5 Tests). Ponting, meanwhile, averaged 36 over the last year, and had been averaging 40 (some 13 runs below his career average) for 4 years. The middle order still had Clarke and Hussey as experienced batsmen, and Haddin (if you rate him) at 7. Ponting had also just lost a 3rd Ashes series and was replaced as Captain.

  • OneEyedAussie on October 24, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    Katich's form was pretty average when he was dumped but I think in hindsight he should have been persisted with for a while longer. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20. Just re-read the article that was published in 2011 about Clarke "feeling for Katich" and sending him a bon voyage text message - oh boy, that was a laugh!

  • jimmy787 on October 24, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    "What do you do with a team that is very successful? Do you put more young people into that team in order to create opportunities to blood youth, and in the process drop some of the greats of the game."

    Well, Mr Sutherland, with a very successful team, you let them be be as they are.

    You invest in the next level down (ie. domestic 4 day cricket) to ensure that there are always strong candidates should the opportunity arise for a national callup either through injury or loss of form.

    What you DONT do is arbitrarily drop performing, experienced players because of a so called "succession plan".

    And it doesn't take hindsight to work that out. It's just common sense.

  • Unmesh_cric on October 24, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    Some would argue that the real reason for dropping Katich was the incident where he grabbed Clarke by his collar. Whatever the reason, Cricket Australia messed up big time in Katich's case. The only experienced batsman in the Australian batting order now is Watson (apart from Clarke). But he was made to feel uncomfortable during Clarke-Arther regime. As good a batsman Clarke is, I doubt his man-management skills. Now Australia's Test batting is in complete disarray.

  • CforCricketbuff on October 24, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    first they dropped this amazing opener due to his age. and then they brought Chris Rogers for Ashes. Such an irony.....Why CA or even the current captain doesn't understand simple fact of sports...that ages does't matters but only performance matters the most....

  • Chris_P on October 24, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    A big round of applause for stating the obvious. No-one, with even a hint of knowledge included agreed with the original decision so how do 3 "quality" selectors come up with this brainstorm? What's the point of admitting it now? Speechless.

  • on October 24, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Very surprised Michael Clarke hasn't been mentioned. If you think there was no connection to his axing, one must be very naïve. Without any question whatsoever Clarke was responsible for Katich being dropped. At the time it happened I simply could not believe they did that; I thought 'there must be something more to this because this is insane, he is our best batsman right now', and later I hear about the Clarke incident. And it all went downhill after that for Australia.

  • on October 24, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    Pick the best xi available, it is that simple.

    Sutherland thinking none of us can see what goes into team building and selection just goes to show what a different world he is living in. As for this 'there's only xi places to go around', what a ridiculous notion! Blokes get injured and lose form meaning there is always a place or two available for rookies and the opportunity for them to gain experience, as well as A tours dead rubbers and series against weaker nations. The mistake is dropping 2 or 3 guys performing and leaving 3-4 rookies in the team. As pointed out by others letting Ponting, Clarke and Hussey slip down the order and sending your juniors into the no.3 spot just made it harder still. This was the biggest mistake made in batting team selection and it was plainly obvious all along.

  • landl47 on October 24, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    Well, everyone agrees now that dropping Katich was a mistake. Too late to do anything about it now. The interesting thing is that both Edwards and Sutherland claim that Australia is on the right path. So where are the young batsmen? Warner and Khawaja in the 25-30 age group haven't set the test world on fire. Hughes and Smith in the under- 25 group (although only just- both turn 25 soon) have been patchy. Maddinson seems to have potential. After them- who? Burns has made 3 ducks and a 1 in his last 4 innings and has been dropped from his state side. No other good young batsmen come to mind.

    Dropping Katich was a mistake, but the bigger mistake has been failing to develop young batsmen. That must be put right in the next couple of years, because Rogers, Watson, Clarke and Haddin, four of the top 6 in the last Ashes test, have a combined age of 135. That's not a recipe for long-term success.

  • cricketfanwrites on October 24, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    I would go out on limb and say that Michael Clarke factored in that decision. As he did indirectly in Micheal Hussey's decision to retire. Clarke is the most talented cricketer in Aus. He is NOT the one with the leadership qualities it takes to lead CA. I hope this new administration make changes that will put us back on top.

  • gauravm5 on October 24, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    @Prasanna_310: Prior is just 31. Do some homework MAN.

  • tamperbay on October 24, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    I was never a fan of Katich, but this was based mostly on the way he looked when he batted. For me it was just horribly awkward. But this should never be a reason for selecting or not selecting a player. Selection should be on character and results, not aesthetics nor age. You only have to look as far as yesterday to see this proven with Graeme Smith. He is young, but along with Katich, one of the ugliest, most horribly awkward looking batsmen ever - but oh so effective.

  • Raman12 on October 24, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    I still remember the 2003 Ind/Aus series , Australia drew the series with India bcoz of Katich .He made a patient 77 ,otherwise Australia would hav easily lost the series 2-1

  • AAjmani on October 24, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    I will again say that age sometimes is overrated. You chose players based on form and fitness. Selection should be based more on "now" then "future". With the amount of cricket being played, the selectors should have a vision of 2-3 years and not for 15-20 years. How can we assume that an investment in a young player will last for 8-10 years? Players can lose form and fitness at any point of time which cannot be planned for. Australia recently took the right decision of getting Rogers keeping in mind the 2 Ashes series. If he delivers, the ROI is guaranteed. Is threr a point in getting a half baked young batsman prepping him for 5-10 yrs when by doing that you might lose the current Ashes in line? Only once in a generation players can be invested for long term who would probably never lose their form and be in top shape. Tendulkar is a prime example, current players include Amla, AB, Kohli and the likes. Its ironical 3-4 selectors can decide the entire fate of players like Hodge & Kats

  • Prasanna_310 on October 24, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    I do not know many but we can see test cricketers like Kallis, Misbah, Prior, Hussey, Younis Khan, who are approaching 40 but their fitness level and form in the game has never gone down. People are different, so are cricketers. You have to bring age only when you see discernible effects like frequent dismissal on short balls which could be a factor of slowing reflexes, or slowness on the field, or was case with Jayasuriya- loss of strength in the arms. For people who spent hours in their fitness, it is scorning their efforts bringing in 'the age factor'.

  • stickboy on October 24, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Agree with Ozcricketwriter and sportofpain. The focus on choosing 'players of the future' has backfired. This should have been obvious!! Australia used to choose players only after they had lots of success in domestic cricket over a number of years, especially for the test team. Some players didn't even get chosen after a decade of amazing cricket e.g. Hodge, Law, Lehman etc...

  • paapam on October 24, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    CA will be doing a favoir to Clarke and austrralian cricket if they stand him down as captain and appoint Bailey. Australia has the players to be one of the top two teams in all forms of cricket. Clarke is a poor leader of men. Ponting in his book has laid bare what we knew all along. As a player without the burden of captaincy Clarke will take his rightful place as one of its great batsmen. Back permitting!

  • on October 24, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    i just didnt get the dropping of katich. I agree he did not score any runs in the first two test matchs he was involved. but it was the first time since he came back as an opener he struggled to score runs. I dont know what CA australia was smoking then and now giving a guy like hughes opportunity after opportunity in tests and to this day has not secured a permanent spot and dumping katich after he only had two bad matches in the ashes for youth.

  • a1234s on October 24, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    the BCCI and CA are polar opposites of each other. One doesnt want to reitre it's current of greats..the other is in a haste to find the next group of greats... it's just ridiculous and just shows how extreme positions can harm a team..

  • B.Moizuddin.Gouhar on October 24, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    Its not too often that players like Katich is born and the looser is CA not Katich

  • B.Moizuddin.Gouhar on October 24, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    At last CA realized their mistake (very serious mistake) by dropping katich. Don't forget not only Katich suffered but also CA, and who gained/benefited from these high headedness and silly mistake of CA? Its India and England no doubt about that. Why Ricky is saying it now? why he don't have the courage to say at the time of dropping is it a selfishness or what. No doubt Ricky was outstanding player but he should have protected/defended/saved Katich from being axed. Sorry but the likes of Ricky, Hussey, Clerke and Company should have protested with CA to defend a honest team-mate who was more than 100% capable to play for his country for few more years. WAKE UP AUST - WAKE UP... BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.

  • sportofpain on October 24, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    Age should NEVER be an issue. It just confuses peoples thinking. In selection there should never, I repeat never be a 'young person subsidy' or an 'old person tax'. If you are old and performing you are in. If you are young and performing, you are in. You should not lose your spot because you are old and in order to 'regenerate' the team. Neither should you get a spot because you are young so that the team can be 'regenerated'. There is a natural entry / exit proces. It is called performance. For those who decry age, esp Aussies on this thread, you only have to look at Bobby Simpson who at 40+ came back to captain the Aussies in 1978 and did a fine job both as skipper and as batsman.

  • on October 24, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    @Peter James Warrington needs to get his facts straight before talking. If people take the time to check Katich's average for his past 5games his average is in fact 38.55 (not 23) and actually he averaged 50.44 as an opener which is the 10th highest in history. In his last 12months in the Australian team he averaged 54.80. If this is out of form then I guess a lot of guys should of got the boot by now. The dumping of Katich was unjust at the time and he was in his right to question it the way he did. (unfair dismissal in the workplace) The one criticism I do have about Katich was that while he was quite effective in occupying the crease and getting consistent starts, he never seemed to convert them into big hundreds. In his last 12months at test level he scored 2centuries and 9fifties with 7scores between 80-99. (pretty bad conversion rate) If he turned at least half of those 50's into 100's then it would of had 6hundreds 5fifties (better conversion rate).

  • Sports4Youth on October 24, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    Now what is the point of admitting the mistake? Is CSA trying to rub salt into the wounds of Katich?

  • rony1008 on October 24, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    As mentioned in the article, Ponting, Hussey and Katich's similar age made them to take the decision to drop one of them in favor of a younger player. If that is the real reason for dropping Katich, I probably would have gone for Ponting based on the fact that it was obvious that he was past his prime. But for some reason they decided to get rid of their settled opener, and that was puzzling.

  • Ozcricketwriter on October 24, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    Katich should never have been dumped, not while he was in supremely good form. I do not care if he was 35 at the time. If he was 35 AND out of form THEN dump him. He is still doing well enough now, aged 38, to be considered, but of course he won't now. Dropping Katich was the beginning of the end for Australian cricket.

  • mravikiran on October 24, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    If you want to dump senior players out on the name of young players, involve Greg Chappel. He does a fantastic job of this.

  • venkatesh018 on October 24, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    Bring Katich back to the Test squad NOW. Let him play for another 12 to 18 months until a younger player is ready to take over. It won't be a bad decision at all.

  • balajik1968 on October 24, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    Greg Chappell strikes again. Admittedly great player, with a poor management record.

  • on October 24, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    It was extremely foolish of CA to drop both Katich and Hauritz. They could bring both of them back for the next Ashes series. Rogers, Katich, Clarke, Haddin - all are very experienced players. Having them all in the team together will be a major boost for Australia. And Hauritz too, as he has the experience of playing against the English players. His performance in the 2009 Ashes series wasn't bad at all.

  • CricketChat on October 24, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    CA selectors did the right thing. Katich was showing signs of decline as one of the comments pointed out, so they decided to invest in youth (with Greg Chappell calling shots, it's to be expected anyway). It is altogether a different matter that Watson, Warner and couple others who were given plenty of chances didn't grab them.

  • on October 24, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    A great cricketer and a great human being as well Simon Katich. I will never forget his wonderful gesture made during his final tour with the Australian Test side to South Africa. He had just won the Senwes Man of the Match during a tour match in Potchefstroom. Simon brought the cheque to a coaching clinic in Dobsonville, Soweto and donated it for the purchase of cricket clothing and equipment for needy children in the GCB Development Programme!What a hero!

  • Sachit1979 on October 24, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    Million dollar question is; could he still make a comeback?

  • on October 24, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    "People don't understand the challenges of developing a cricket team with only 11 players. Experience is invaluable at Test level," he said. "Unless you build experience and develop the hardness of playing Test cricket at the highest level, you cannot consistently perform. It's very difficult to manage that transition."

    That above statement is utter nonsense. Hardening players in State cricket is why Australia was successful for 20 years. And that starts at Grade level. Everyone knows that cricketers peak between the ages of 26-33 and yet there are now First Grade sides with an average age of 21 and State sides with average ages of 23 -24.

    Why? because 6 or 7 years ago CA introduced the Futures league which mean that no un-contracted (Grade) cricket over the age of 23 got a look in at 2nd XI level. So what happened? Many high quality fringe players simply stopped playing grade cricket to focus on other opportunities before their peak age!

    Simply put, CA made a mess of itself.

  • hhillbumper on October 24, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    So does anyone get along with Clarke then? We keep hearing he is a great tactical captain but he has won nothing with the acknowledged greatest fast bowling attack ever and seemingly fights with everyone

  • on October 24, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    I don't agree. not at all. Katich was injured. 35 and a half. His form had fallen off a cliff once he turned 35. He averaged 23 over his last 5 tests. We had just got smashed again and clearly needed to start rebuilding.

    It was the right decision and hindsight doesn't change that. Renewal is better than atrophy.

    Warne backed his axing and, like me, said we should have kept going.

    The only thing I don't think people factored in was the impact on watson from losing his partner. Maybe they should have dumped Ponting first. then katich.

    will they come out and admit dumping Doug Walters in 81 was a mistake? i hope not - the mistake was recalling him at 35 for a soft home summer if they weren't going to pick him in England.

    Selectors make many bad calls but I don't see dumping a 35yo out of form injured player as one of them. Let it rain rocks on my head, but this lady is not for turning.

  • on October 24, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Even blind Charlie knows that Katich was dropped only because of his spat with Michael Clarke. Clarke has been very good but it was disgraceful and disrespectful to have dropped Katich in the manner that they did and to give the primedona his wishes. It's probably too late to right the wrong now but the time was certainly right in the last ashes series in England.

  • Barnesy4444 on October 24, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    Katich and Hughes were an excellent partnership during the short time they were together. First Hughes was mistakingly dropped and then Katich. After which we saw Ponting moved down to 4, Hussey down to 6 and a revolving door of number 3's. Not to mention dropping an in form Hauritz and trialling a "different spinner each test". Will they also acknowledge these mistakes as contributing to our current situation?

    It should have stayed Katich, Hughes, Ponting, Hussey, Clarke, young batsman, Haddin, bowlers.

    Thankfully we now have Marsh and Boof in charge of the place so we may start seeing improvements in 2-4 years.

  • on October 24, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    It's good to acknowledge past mistakes however Warner and Rogers are the best possible Australian opening pair for this Ashes and that's Important ATM.

  • milepost on October 24, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    They just worked this out? Agree with Peter Lewis, always pick the best team to win the test match. If Bailey (surely he must), Johnson and Katich come in it would undoubtedly bolster the side. Pick players in form, the selection on potential theory obviously hasn't worked for Australia. England aren't exactly a top team so it's a good opportunity to run them ragged in Australia.

  • Charlie101 on October 24, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    More importantly CA 's Wally Edwards is trying to take the heat from Clarke after news of the altercation between the two of them in Ricky Ponting's book . It is very obvious that Clarke was behind the descison and this is a good bit of spin putting the blame on the other selectors. Does not work though as everybody npw has a good indication on how Clarke operates .

  • Markdal on October 24, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    West Indies got it right for so many years. Don't drop a bloke for getting older, but wait for him to retire (or go to SA on a rebel tour) and then blood a newbie in his place. Lose Rowe? Bring in Gomes. Lose Clarke and Croft? Bring in Walsh. Lose Richards? Hello Brian Lara. After that, they fell into a hole, but they had it right, for 15 years.

  • Mervo on October 24, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    Duh! What did you expect. It is a shame that a good player could not have finished his Test career properly. Hughes will never be as good as Katich

  • on October 24, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    Why not right a wrong. Select him for the Ashes.

  • Beertjie on October 24, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    I think the debate about who was the greater team - Oz in late 90's until 2007 or WI late 70's to 95 will continue through this century until their equals emerge. The Oz team from after the War until '52 was the marker until the WI emerged. Great debate and fantasy teams!

  • on October 24, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    This is what happens when selectors try to get too cute and smart. When selecting the test team the selectors should aim to pick the strongest 11 players from those who are available for the next match. Players should not be selected on the basis of age or "potential" but on the likelihood of them scoring runs or taking wickets in the next test match. If a young player is good enough they'll be selected on merit.

  • on October 24, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    I have always been for Katto thry thick and kin and he knows it. I am a Srilnkan Aussie. Ranjan Rodrigo

  • on October 24, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Now they realize it ? after 1 year and 4 months ? after two series defeats and another ashes defeat looking ominous at home ? yaa right !!!!! This after CA thought is appropriate to not even give the man, who served aussie cricket for 11 years, a courtesy call informing him about his axing.....it is miracle that Kato still finds in him the urge to go on and play cricket.... This is the mother of all goof-ups and the team is the next biggest loser after Kato himself....

  • Sammoose on October 24, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    How about picking the best team? Picking inferior players because they might be future regulars who can benefit from experience at test level (an overrated benefit) is foolish and broadly demoralising. Selectors need not be ageist.

  • Rohan_K on October 24, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    There were many such players ACB/CA have mistreated, I felt Brad Hodge was someone they could have easily groomed as a ODI captain, yes he was a contender for test cap too. I feel he was far better in limited overs cricket than M.Clarke, if he was given adequate opportunity he would have certainly proved it. Just on one bad India series in 2007 he has been kicked out.

  • Biso on October 24, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    If Maddinson is blooded then you need the experience of Katich at the other end. The flip side is , how will Clarke manage a Katich comeback. It seems it is already too late crying after the horse has, perhaps, bolted. Australia will have to throw their new team at the deep and fans have to be patient. The results will finally come, but, it will not reach the levels touched by the super team. I doubt Australia will get one team like that in the next 20 years. I consider that team second to the invincible West Indians of mid 70's ( developing), 80's( at their peak) and early 90's( on their way out). That WI team was the best in the games history. It seems more likely as time goes by that WI will never have any team like that ever again. Off course, Aussies have a better structure in place to maintain adequate standards and not fall to the pits like WI did.

  • Rahul_78 on October 24, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    For all those people accusing Indian seniors of overstaying in the playing XI this proves a point. VVS and Sachin were the main accused but their experience has proved invaluable to the guys staying on the bench or playing alongside them. India has Dhawan, Pujara, Rohit and Kohli who are performing well and some equally talented guys waiting for their chance. Indian batting has handled the transition better under MSD then Aussies have done. Dropping Katich was a big blunder. May be his bust up with Clarke costed him his place and it might not have anything to do with handling the transition period. But Aussie cricket lost out on well hell of a player and fighter.

  • on October 24, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    I remember it seemed at the time like Clarke's first decision was to get rid of Katich, and whether that's how it went or not, it's all been pretty crap since then. First you had Punter still in the side but not the captain, rumours of Pup's unpopularity and rifts in the side, plus we're losing everything.

    Let's applaud them for at least acknowledging the horrible decision to end Katich's career, it's interesting that they're holding an olive branch out to him when not being pressed about it specifically. Justin Langer's apparently been on the phone to Simon constantly about playing for WA in the Shield.

    It'd be a good move; to bring back Katich, could it actually be happening? I'd be more confident of the Aussies winning the Ashes with him there than without him.

  • PFEL on October 24, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Selection for this Ashes is going to largely based on the Shield rounds. If Katich makes more runs than others then I'm sure he's got a fantastic chance.

  • Amith_S on October 24, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    I agree completely, if my memory serves me correct we got Hughes in for Katich when Clarke became captain, we can only learn and not make the same mistake again.

  • on October 24, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Kato was a great player. Is a great person. Best than most of the current players. Even better than Clarke himself. Clarke had his part in some of the most ridiculous decisions like punishing Watto during the India series. He's not a team man, clearly ! Clarke is an egoistic person but with a great talent !

  • on October 24, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    a famous english saying- a bird in hand is worth more than 2 in the bush. CA hoped for young players to outshine stalwarts like katich and symonds, little they do knew that talent has dried up in sheffield shield and they are in for a rough ride. why cry now over spilled milk? they are seeing some dark days ahead.

  • Beertjie on October 24, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Sounds a lot like excuses to me - papering over the Pup-Katto cracks, to be specific. Bring him in as a batting coach and let Pup eat humble pie!

  • on October 24, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    A 'super side'? That batting line-up had been an embarassment for years. Katich was pretty much the only consistent performer (this was before Clarke re-found his form and when Hussey had only just rediscovered it) It's nice that they have acknowledged it was one of the worst selections ever (dropped him to get Pat Cummins in the contract list - hasn't that paid off well for the money involved?) and yet they seem to have learnt nothing from it.

  • Bytheway on October 24, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    well well well...is this a prelude to a welcome back.

  • xtrafalgarx on October 24, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    @Daniel van der Merwe, way off the mark. They are saying it was a bad decision but the horse has already bolted for Katto, it would do more harm than good now to bring him back.

  • on October 24, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Well its not too late to pick him for the Ashes! I wrote a letter about this issue, it got published in the Sunday Times (UK) around June/July this year.

  • CricketMaan on October 24, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Hmm, can he still come back? i guess the team has moved foward, glad Ricky didnt release his book during Ashes. Still got to persist with Warner, Cowan, Hughes and Watto! but just a quick look at the line up you do feel you need someone like Katich although its just this summer!!

  • pranay_bangalore on October 24, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Sure its a wrong decision. Katich played 9 test matches in the year he was dropped and made 2 centuries and five fifties with an avg of near 47 for that year(which is slightly higher than his career avg). This decision is possibly the stating reason for aussie fall and made lot of gifted batsman(hussey and co) throw the hat.. I, for one wont be surprised if katich is called back

  • Ramsespd on October 24, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Oh Der!

    Great der's of history #11

  • jimbond on October 24, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    That was a mistake. But not picking him up again into the team is a blunder. For the England series, you require someone stable at the top, and there is nobody better right now in Australia than Katich. He is still good for another couple of years. Katich and Rogers or Katich and Maddinson at the top, followed by Watson, Smith, Clarke, Bailey(captain) forms a reasonable batting order.

  • on October 24, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    CA crying over spilt milk!

  • on October 24, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    He's still good enough to walk back in and do the job in this Ashes...as opener, or I reckon preferably as the Mike Hussey style finisher at 6. Someone with his minerals coming in at 6 would be huge and England would know it.

  • on October 24, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    Let's hope this is CA setting the stage for a potential recall. He's still got what it takes. Well more than Hughes and Khawaja anyway...

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  • on October 24, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    Let's hope this is CA setting the stage for a potential recall. He's still got what it takes. Well more than Hughes and Khawaja anyway...

  • on October 24, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    He's still good enough to walk back in and do the job in this Ashes...as opener, or I reckon preferably as the Mike Hussey style finisher at 6. Someone with his minerals coming in at 6 would be huge and England would know it.

  • on October 24, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    CA crying over spilt milk!

  • jimbond on October 24, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    That was a mistake. But not picking him up again into the team is a blunder. For the England series, you require someone stable at the top, and there is nobody better right now in Australia than Katich. He is still good for another couple of years. Katich and Rogers or Katich and Maddinson at the top, followed by Watson, Smith, Clarke, Bailey(captain) forms a reasonable batting order.

  • Ramsespd on October 24, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Oh Der!

    Great der's of history #11

  • pranay_bangalore on October 24, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Sure its a wrong decision. Katich played 9 test matches in the year he was dropped and made 2 centuries and five fifties with an avg of near 47 for that year(which is slightly higher than his career avg). This decision is possibly the stating reason for aussie fall and made lot of gifted batsman(hussey and co) throw the hat.. I, for one wont be surprised if katich is called back

  • CricketMaan on October 24, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Hmm, can he still come back? i guess the team has moved foward, glad Ricky didnt release his book during Ashes. Still got to persist with Warner, Cowan, Hughes and Watto! but just a quick look at the line up you do feel you need someone like Katich although its just this summer!!

  • on October 24, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Well its not too late to pick him for the Ashes! I wrote a letter about this issue, it got published in the Sunday Times (UK) around June/July this year.

  • xtrafalgarx on October 24, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    @Daniel van der Merwe, way off the mark. They are saying it was a bad decision but the horse has already bolted for Katto, it would do more harm than good now to bring him back.

  • Bytheway on October 24, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    well well well...is this a prelude to a welcome back.