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Axed Katich advised to sue Cricket Australia under age discrimination laws

June 11, 2011 - Sydney

Axed Australian opener Simon Katich and his management have reportedly been advised by his legal team to sue Cricket Australia under Australia's age discrimination laws.

According to Fox Sports, Katich's manager Robert Joske met with high-profile industrial law outfit Harmers Workplace Lawyers and was advised he had a "strong case should he choose to go down that track".

A Harmers lawyer said Katich would win the case by the length of the straight as the decision of his employer was based on his age, not on his performance.

The player acknowledged yesterday the chairman of the selection panel, lawyer Andrew Hilditch, had been very careful in trying to explain the reason his contract was not renewed.

"I have got a massive feeling that my age played a big part of it. There has been so much speculation about the age of our team. Look, obviously that is never going to be mentioned because of the legalities, but in my last three seasons I have had the numbers on the board. I have enjoyed playing in the team and to be told that it was because the opening partnership needed to be bedded down before the 2013 Ashes just doesn't sit well with me," Katich was quoted, as saying.

Katich said the issue was not about losing a lucrative central contract.

"We get paid very well, but I am also respectful of the fact there are a lot of people in Australia a lot worse off than I am," he said.

"It's not about that for me, it's about the fact I had earned the right to play for Australia through my performance and to have that taken away for a reason I don't agree with I think is blatantly wrong," he added.

Katich appears frustrated that there is no avenue to appeal against the decision as there is with Olympic selections.

"As a player, we have no way except for legal proceedings to answer back."

Former bowler and manager of the Sydney Sixers Twenty20 side Stuart Clark backed his teammate, saying the selection system was a "joke".

Clark, who has a law degree, said in any other field the issue would have ended in court.

"He's arguably Australia's best batsman over the past three years, so for him not to be selected can only mean that they've just said, 'You're too old and we want to go down a youth path' and any other job in the country that'd probably end up in court somewhere," he told Cricinfo.


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