Simon Katich retires from first-class cricket
Former Test opening batsman Simon Katich has announced his retirement from first-class cricket in Australia.
Katich was axed from the Australian team after the 2010-2011 Ashes series defeat in Australia and was stripped of the NSW captaincy last year in the Sheffield Shield competition.
The 36-year-old is currently playing with Hampshire in the English County competition and is committed to play for the Perth Scorchers in the Champions League Twenty20 in October.
Katich released a statement through Cricket Australia citing prioritising his young family as the reason for his retirement.
The West Australian played 56 Tests for Australia, scoring 4188 runs at an average of 45.03.
His demotion from the Test team was highly controversial and his tense relationship with Australian skipper Michael Clarke has been played out heavily in the media.
Starting out with Western Australia at State level, Katich went on to star for NSW and has amassed 19,667 first class runs.
Through the statement, Cricket Australia said Katich wished to thanked the WACA and NSW Cricket associations for "providing wonderful cricketing environments and amazing opportunities".
"He wishes to thank them all (coaches and players) 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 represented NSW in 58 first-class matches, scoring 15 centuries and maintaining an average of 61.73.
His high-point in State cricket 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 Shield that season.
This broke the record for the most ever runs scored in the four-day domestic competition in a season.
Included in this was Katich's highest first-class score of 306, against Queensland, at the SCG.
Katich also played 56 limited overs matches for the Blues, scoring 1846 runs at the average of 40.13.
However, it was in the Twenty20 format that Katich had one of his finest moments for NSW, leading the side to victory in the inaugural Champions League tournament in India in 2009.
Katich's superb Test career included 10 centuries as he forged a reputation as a courageous and uncompromising competitor.
In addition he played 45 one-day international matches and three 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.
Cricket NSW Chairman Dr Harry Harinath praised Katich for his enormous contribution to the Blues and the game in NSW.
"Simon's contribution to NSW cricket was quite simply outstanding," Harinath 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 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."