Champions League Twenty20 2009 October 26, 2009

Katich rates Champions League win near the top

Cricinfo staff

The captain Simon Katich ranks New South Wales' Champions League Twenty20 win as one of the proudest moments of his career. Katich, who said the thrill of reaching the semi-finals of Celebrity Masterchef was almost as good as a century for Australia when it aired last week, arrived back in Sydney on Sunday following his side's US$2.5m victory over Trinidad and Tobago in Hyderabad on Friday.

"I'm very proud of everyone," Katich said in the Daily Telegraph. "We needed everyone firing and everyone did a great job right through the tournament. It's certainly one of the proudest moments I've had in my cricketing career.''

Katich, who has played 43 Tests and 45 ODIs, was praised for his captaincy during the tournament, which included opening the bowling with the spinners Nathan Hauritz and Steven Smith during the last two games. The moves were successful and they finished off the inaugural event with a 41-run victory.

Stuart Clark was another key performer, taking nine wickets at 12.44, and he said the win was his third most satisfying achievement in the game. "I think international cricket is always the pinnacle," he told the Australian. "The Ashes series in Australia is my greatest cricket memory and achievement, I only played one game in the [2007] World Cup, but for most people that is second and this to me runs third, but it is a very close battle between one, two and three."

He said the successes were great for different reasons. "This win meant so much for all the NSW people sitting at Moore Park and for all the young guys in our team, some who may never play international cricket," he said. "This is the highlight of their careers and they will thoroughly remember it."

Clark has tipped Smith and Moises Henriques for big things following their efforts in the two-week tournament. "Moises' improvement shows day by day and he is going to be an Australian player as soon as there is a spot available," he said. "Steve Smith is on his way too. You would think the writing is on the wall for a 20-year-old who can bowl leg breaks, given there are not too many leg-break bowlers around in the country. Then there is Phil Hughes and David Warner, sometimes they need a bit of guidance but they are super players with super talent."

The squad is due for a let down over the next week as they return to Australian domestic duties. Their first game of the summer is against Western Australia at North Sydney on Sunday in the FR Cup.

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