Former Australian batsmen Simon Katich has retired from first class cricket in Australia
Katich announced his retirement from England where he is playing with Hampshire in the English county season.
He is committed to play for the Perth Scorchers in the Champions League Twenty20 in October.
Katich made his Sheffield Shield debut for Western Australia in 1998 before moving to NSW in 2002 and accepting the captaincy of the Blues.
Katich had a superb career for New South Wales, enjoying tremendous success as both a leader and batsman, for his adopted State.
Katich, represented the NSW SpeedBlitz Blues in 58 First Class matches, scoring 5309 runs at an average of 61.73, including 15 centuries. His high point came during the 2007-08 season, when he returned to State cricket after being dropped from the National side and scored an amazing 1506 runs in the Pura Cup that season. This broke the record for the most ever runs scored in the Sheffield Shield competition in a season. Included in this was a highest First Class score of 306, against Queensland, at the SCG.
Katich was presented with his Baggy Green by Ritchie Benaud at Headingley on 16th August 2001, he scored just 15 on debut and had to wait more than two years for a second opportunity.
he went on to represent Australia in 56 Test matches, where he scored 4188 runs at the average of 45.03, including 10 centuries.
In addition he played 45 One-Day International matches and 3 T20 Internationals for his country.
Katich also took valuable wickets with his left-arm wrist spin, including 21 Test wickets at an average of 30.23. This included a career-best 6-65 against Zimbabwe at the SCG in October, 2003.
He scored his maiden Test 100 against India at the SCG in 2004, belting 125 off 166 balls.
His maiden ODI 100 was cored at the 'Gabba in 2006 against Sri Lanka in the third final of the VB series.
A form slump resulted in Katich missing out on a Cricket Australia contract in June 2007, but his incredible form in sheffield shield led to re-selection the following year. In June 2008 he scored his highest Test score 157 against West Indies in Barbados.
2009 was Katich's best on the field, however and off-field altercation with team-mate Michael Clarke after the New Year's Test at the SCG against South Africa marred an impressive season. In 2009 he also led NSW to the inaugural Champions League T20 title.
Katich played his last Test for Australia in the 2nd Ashes Test of the disasterous 2010/11 series at home, an achilles injury left him unavailable for selection for the rest of the series.
In June 2011 he was controversially omitted from the Cricket Ausrtalia contracted players list. But he continued to represent NSW in Sheffield Shield and RYOBI One-Day Cup cricket as well as representing the Perth Scorchers in the inaugural Big Bash season.
Cricket New South Wales Chairman Dr Harry Harinath was effusive in his praise of a player admired by everyone in the New South Wales system.
“Simon’s contribution to New South Wales cricket was quite simply outstanding," he said.
"In his ten years with our State he brought a passion, dedication and commitment that was admired by everybody. Not only was he a superb batsman, with a State and International record to rival the best, but he was a brilliant leader who was respected by all that played with him. He will be a tremendous loss to the NSW SpeedBlitz Blues, both as a player and a man. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours and thank him for everything that he has contributed to cricket within this State.”
Gallery: Katich's career
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 12 June, 2012 10:44AM AEDT