'Never retired' Katich hints at Ashes comeback if given positive signal

Sydney, July 21 (ANI): Australian cricketer Simon Katich has hinted that he would be available for an emergency call for the Ashes to save the faltering batting side if the selectors come looking for him.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Katich is in the kind of form that opposing Test pacemen found very hard to stop while he was in the national squad, even though he is plundering runs for English county team Lancashire rather than the flailing Australian cricket team.

Although retired cricketers Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey have made their intentions clear about never playing any competitive cricket again, Katich has insisted that he had never retired from the international scene, and clearly hinted at a positive answer of a SOS call if one is made to him.

Even as the Australians were left staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat in the second Ashes Test against England after their first-innings batting collapse at Lord's, Katich said that he was told by former chief selector Andrew Hilditch in 2010 that he would never be picked for Australia again, although he added that he told him the same thing in 2007.

According to the report, it was widely rumoured that captain Michael Clarke was a factor in Katich being dropped from the squad after the pair had a nasty altercation at the Sydney Cricket Ground after a day's play in 2009.

However, in 2011, Katich said that he did not believe that Clarke was behind his not being offered a Cricket Australia (CA) contract, and instead blasted the indecision of the selectors, who had made numerous personnel changes in the preceding months.

The report further said that Katich was removed from the contract list and the Australian side, with Hilditch citing a desire to put in place a strong opening partnership for the 2013 Ashes, despite the solid and very effective partnership between Katich and Shane Watson being one of the team's few strong points at the time.

However, Katich has made a substantial contribution for Lancashire this season with 874 runs, three centuries at an average of 72.83 and a strike rate of over 60, and the report said that chairman of selectors John Inverarity said at the squad announcement in Sydney that players performing well in county cricket could be brought into the side. (ANI)

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