Australia in SA
Oz captain hits back at Katich
Michael Clarke (Gallo Images)
Sydeney - Australian captain Michael Clarke has denied playing any part in the axing of opening batsman Simon Katich and warned the former opener his outspoken comments were not doing him any favours.
Katich has blamed Clarke for his surprise dropping from Cricket Australia's contract list in June and said he doubted he would play for his country again as long as he was skipper.
But Clarke said the door had not been shut on anyone.
"Look, when Simon wasn't selected I wasn't a selector at the time," Clarke told Australian media.
"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 in both forms of the game of late."
Australia's new chief selector John Inverarity also said the door had not been slammed shut on Katich, who has played 56 Tests for Australia, averaging more than 45 runs.
But the opener said late on Friday he doubted Inverarity's appointment would be enough to secure his return to the international fold.
"It's pleasing to hear but I think you don't have to be Einstein to figure out it's not just the selectors that had a part in sending me on my way, so that's one of those things," Katich said when told about Inverarity's comment.
He traced his troubles to a 2009 dressing room confrontation with Clarke in which he reportedly grabbed the new Test skipper by the throat.
Katich said: "To be brutally honest what happened in the dressing room here a few years ago probably didn't help my cause.
"Obviously the captain and coach are selectors, so just because he's going to be chairman of selectors, or whatever role it is, I wouldn't have thought that that'll make too much difference."
Katich said he had not spoken to Clarke about the incident and doubted he would ever play for Australia again under Clarke's stewardship.
"I wouldn't have thought so, because that's probably why I'm in this position in the first place," he said.