Simon Katich reprimanded for comments about Australia captain Michael Clarke


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The Independent Online

Former Australia test opener Simon Katich was reprimanded on Monday for comments he made about captain Michael Clarke's role in his losing a central contract with Cricket Australia (CA) earlier this year.

Katich suggested in October that an incident at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2009 when he put his hands around his team mate's throat had contributed to his losing his contract in June and made his recall to the test side unlikely.

The 36-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of "detrimental public comment" at a CA disciplinary hearing in Melbourne on Monday and escaped a fine or ban.

"I am very happy with the result," Katich told reporters. "It was never my intention to go against Cricket Australia's code of conduct ... I'm just glad this matter has been dealt with in a fair manner."

Clarke, who angered Katich in 2009 by asking the Australia team to sing their traditional victory song early so he could leave to meet his girlfriend, had suggested Katich's comments would not improve his chances of a recall to the test team.

"When Simon wasn't selected I wasn't a selector at the time," Clarke, who assumed the Australian captaincy in March but only became a selector in August, said in October.

"Since becoming a selector I've made it clear in plenty of press conferences that I've done that the door's certainly not closed on anyone, but in saying that I don't think his comments are certainly helping him get back into this team at the moment.

"The team morale is such an important part of having success and it's been a great thing for the Australian team."

Katich's omission from the list of contracted players was a major surprise and will continue to be controversial as long as his replacement, Phil Hughes, struggles in the test arena.

The 23-year-old opener has been the subject of criticism over his batting technique and was under fire again at the weekend after making 10 and seven runs against New Zealand.