Australian selector Andrew Hilditch has used a controversial equation – one that men often use in justifying relationships with much younger women – in selecting the 25 man Cricket Australia contract list.
ThePublicApology understands that Hilditch’s criteria for selection involved dividing his own age by two, then adding seven years. Any half-decent player who was found to be on or under that magic number was automatically handed a Cricket Australia contract.
“You know how it is – that’s the magic equation,” the 54-year-old Hilditch told reporters, suddenly taking on a sleazy disposition.
Hilditch left yesterday’s press conference flanked by 18-year-old Patrick Cummings and 21-year-old James Pattinson. According to sources, recent CA contract winners – including Hilditch – were seen at North Sydney’s Greenwood Hotel last night, celebrating Cummings’ belated 18th birthday. Not one contracted player over the age of 34 was in attendance.
Most notably, the controversial selection formula resulted in the sacking of arguably Australia’s most consistent batsman over the past three years, Simon Katich. Despite an average of nearly 50 during a period of unprecedented turbulence and high player turnover, the 35-year-old left-hander failed to make Cricket Australia’s new contract list of 25 players.
An angry Katich hit out at the CA board this morning, describing chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch as a “vacuous” and having an “insatiable lust for youth.”
“This youth policy is bordering on predatory… [and] I don’t understand why we need to go for such young kids in preference of seasoned veterans who have been there and done that,” Katich said.
“I know that, in certain times, bosses and chairmen of all professions – perhaps with the exception of the Vatican – must consider youth in terms of appointments. I also get that in the US, workers in their 50s who suffered GFC-forced redundancies are struggling to find jobs due to management-level preference for younger, more malleable employees.”
“But this is fucking outrageous, I’m only 35 and averaged 47 with the bat last calendar year!”
Katich was not the only veteran sacked; Andrew McDonald, James Hopes, Marcus North, Shaun Tait and Adam Voges all made way for a string of younger, arguably more attractive cricketers. Xavier Doherty, Usman Khawaja, James Pattison earned their first CA contracts, as did 18-year-old NSW fast bowler Patrick Cummings.
“Hilditch has it in for the young’uns,” fumed Katich in an exclusive interview with ThePublicApology.
“It’s like the husband who dumps his faithful wife in search of a cheap fling with the saucy, STD-laden office secretary. It’s not a long-term solution; it’s reckless and disrespectful.”
“But unlike Jackie Onassis, I’m not going to stay silent for the good of my country. I’m pissed off.”
Katich told ThePublicApology that he was going to spend the next six months “finding himself” and “focusing on myself, for once.”
“But tonight I’m just going to go out with the girls, drink a few margaritas and talk about what a jerk the guy is,” Katich said.
“I just want to feel young again.”
Andrew Hilditch did not respond to ThePublicApology’s request for an exclusive interview.
By Dave Edwards