9:23am Tuesday 12th June 2012
By Simon Walter
Former Australia batsman Simon Katich has announced his retirement from first-class cricket in his homeland.
Katich's international career came to an acrimonious end in 2011, when the Australian selectors opted not to renew his central contract despite his impressive form.
And although he is currently playing for Hampshire, the 36-year-old has called time on his Sheffield Shield career.
The former Western Australia and New South Wales batsman has a Big Bash contract with Perth Scorchers and may continue in the shorter format.
But a Cricket Australia statement released today said: "Simon Katich wishes to advise that he has decided to retire from first-class cricket in Australia.
"The WACA and Cricket NSW have provided wonderful cricketing environments and amazing opportunities for Simon to play under great coaches, with terrific players and surrounded by dedicated support staff.
"He wishes to thank them all for the camaraderie and support over the last 16 years and for the chance to play in winning teams.
"With a young family and a desire for an extended time at home, Simon has decided it is time to reassess his priorities."
Katich has played 247 first-class matches, scoring 19,677 runs at 52.86 - including 54 hundreds.
He has not indicated whether he will continue to play for Hampshire next year, but last month he told the Sports Pink: "I don’t have a photo at home of being in a Championship-winning Hampshire team - I would love to tick that box.
"I’ve played a fair bit over here and the club have been great to me so it would be nice to having something to show for it."
Katich has been on the Australian Cricketers Association executive for the last few years.
But he has already been linked with the role of welfare officer at Great Western Sydney Giants, a month after also telling The Sports Pink that he may one day swap cricket for Aussie Rules.
"If I stay in cricket it will be in an admin role because I want to be at home more for my family," he said.
"But I may have a break from cricket for a period of time to freshen up.
"I’ll still be involved in sport but I’ve had a few prospects in the AFL code so that’s something I’m thinking about.
"I love the game and know quite a few people in that industry. The option’s there for when I’m and dusted."
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