I had nothing to do with Katich's axing: Clarke

Published: Saturday, June 11, 2011, 0:00 [IST]
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Clarke washes hands of Katich's axing

Melbourne, June 11: Empathising with Simon Katich, Australian captain Michael Clarke on Jun 10 said he had no role in the axing of the prolific opener's name from the 25-member list of contracted players.

Cricket Australia on Tuesday refused to offer central contract to Katich, leading to speculations that the opener''s one-time rift with Clarke led to his ouster.

"When you become captain you don't become a selector so I had absolutely nothing to do with that (Katich''s axing). That's a selector''s job. I sent Simon a text once I found out. Obviously I feel his disappointment," Clarke said.

"He's been a great player for a long time, not just for NSW (New South Wales) but for Australia," he was quoted as saying in ''Daily Telegraph''.

"He's come back before and I have no doubt, if he continues to do what he's been doing, you never know what can happen in this great game."

Clarke was also excited at young players, especially fast bowlers, getting central contracts.

"It's great to see some young guys getting the opportunity. Pat Cummins, I think it's fantastic for him. I know he's really excited, along with James Pattinson. I think it's about a mixture of experience and youth," he said.

Clarke, whose first Test assignment as full-time captain will be a tour to Sri Lanka, followed by a trip to South Africa and a home series against India, hoped to earn the respect of his team-mates through performance.

"For me its about performing on the field and hopefully I'll earn their respect," he said.

"I've shown throughout my career that I have always put representing my state and country first and foremost. I love what I do."


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