Ricky Ponting admits he was surprised by Cricket Australia's decision to drop opener Simon Katich from their list of contracted players.
The 36-year-old was denied a CA contract for the 2011/12 season despite being one of Australia's best performers over the past two years.
The opener subsequently hit out at the selectors following his omission, labelling the decision as 'absolutely ridiculous'.
And Ponting, who handed the captaincy of Australia's Test and one-day sides to Michael Clarke after the 2011 ICC World Cup, was shocked to see the 36-year-old dumped.
"It's fair to say he (Katich) didn't hold back in his press conference and rightly so as well," Ponting said on the Nine Network's AFL Footy Show.
"To be omitted from the contract list was a great shock to him. It was a shock to me.
"His performance in the last two or three years has been as good as anybody's in the world."
In the last two years Katich has had the second highest average of any Australia player, behind only Shane Watson, outscoring fellow veterans Ponting and Mike Hussey in the process.
And Ponting admitted the decision to drop Katich was a wake-up call for himself and Hussey as they enter the final stages of their careers.
"It puts us 36-year-olds on notice now, Mike Hussey and myself," Ponting said.
"It's going to make us work that little bit harder. I would have liked to have another old bloke around the group with me.
"(But) it means a young guy gets a go and hopefully that guy can stand up and do the job for us."