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Ex-Oz player Slater roasts Cricket Australia, chief selector Hilditch for sacking Katich

June 9, 2011 - Melbourne

Former Australian Test batsman Michael Slater has given Cricket Australia and the chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch a roasting for sacking New South Wales and Australian opener Simon Katich.

Slater wondered if the infamous Clarke-Katich dressing-room confrontation that took place a couple of years ago might have played its part in his exit.

"I think he has been appallingly hung. Maybe, the new captain (Clarke) hasn't been a great supporter, but I don't think that can be blamed for him (Katich) not making the list of contracted players," the Daily Telegraph quoted Slater, as saying.

Slater said Katich's age was irrelevant given he was the best-performed player in the country over the past three years.

He questioned how Katich could be sacked when his injury replacement for the past three Tests in Australia's losing Ashes series, Phil Hughes, averaged just 16.

"If his replacement came in scoring hundreds and was red hot, then I can understand an injury stopping someone in their mid-30s," Slater said.

ricket Australia, however, described it as a joke.

Katich, 35, was still bunkered down from the storm surrounding him, but his manager, Robert Joske, claimed he had been flooded by wellwishers.

"I haven't had a reaction like this since Steve Waugh was sacked from Australia's one-day side," said Joske, who once managed Waugh.

Slater also questioned the way the system was being reviewed around the country.

"The first thing they should be reviewing is the selectors and the selection process and I'd start with the chairman of selectors (Hilditch)," he said.

Cricket Australia is furious that a clash between Katich and Clarke in the SCG dressing rooms 2 1/2 years ago is being offered as a reason for the left-hander's sudden axing.

"It's absolute nonsense. It's hardly worth dignifying with a response," CA public affairs manager Peter Young said.

Young added: "The selection panel reports direct to the board and is independent of the influence of players, administrators, states or anybody else. Anyone who knows Andrew (Hilditch) would know that it's a joke."


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