60 Jolimont Street
(+61 3) 9653 9999
In relation to your unjustified sacking of Simon Katich from the Australian cricket team, I demand you supply ThePublicApology with – ahem – a public apology.
Now this writer has accepted – and grown to eventually embrace – the many dubious selection decisions that you and your colleagues have made over the past 10-15 years.
But I have come to the conclusion, after several glasses of wine, that you are a traitorous, subversive spy sent to undermine the future of Australian cricket. I’m not sure yet as to who sent you – that’s for another time – but the fact is that you and your cronies are single-handedly destroying Australian cricket, not to mention the career of a true servant of the game, with an absurd ‘youth policy’ that belies all logic.
Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin could never play with the freedom they do if not for the dogged Katich propping up one end on the pitch, like a depressed shift worker refusing to leave the bar at closing time after 14 bourbon and cokes. You and I both know this; it is fact.
In terms of his cricketing career, Simon Katich was a fighter – a self-made man. Brought up on the hard WACA wicket, Katich ventured East after a couple of poor seasons and found himself handed the NSW captaincy, playing on a wicket that favoured spin over pace. Undeterred, he worked his way back from apparent oblivion into the Australian line-up, first in the middle-order and later – and ironically, given his move to the SCG from Western Australia – at the top of the order, facing off fast bowlers with squinty-eyed, Clint Eastwood-like disdain. His rise was a metaphor for all those that have struggled in life: persist, and rewards will come your way in time.
Katich was neither flashy nor elegant. My memory of him will not consist of orgasm-inducing cover-drives or crisp, nonchalant leg-glances. But I wouldn’t want it that way. Flashiness or elegance is not the mark of a man – or of a cricketer. Dependability and stoicism is what Katich had in spades. That’s what earned him the respect of all true Australian cricketing fans.
I know it is too late, but these are the reasons why Katich is an automatic selection in most people’s books. Not only is he a virtual rock at the top of the order, he offered Australia an excellent back-up spinning option in the post-Warne era. His career could have even been padded out a few years had they allowed him to get fit and work on those left-arm leggies, of which one delivery possessed the venom of a 1000 Xavier Doherty offerings. Not to mention his close-in fielding: try getting one of those flashy young blokes to put the ‘lid’ on and field at short leg. They’d tell you to get fucked. He was, in this writer’s eyes, the logical successor to Ricky Ponting, in terms of captaincy. He enjoyed success as NSW captain, and had the respect from his team-mates that Michael Clarke could only dream of.
Hell, he even made it to the semi-finals of Celebrity MasterChef Australia, with his signature dish of crispy salmon with wilted spinach and mashed potatoes. [Editor’s note: Food and Wine contributor Chris Bosh will be reviewing this dish in the upcoming weeks] There’s nothing this guy doesn’t offer the side in terms of batting, bowling, leadership and culinary skills.
The man in question has been one of the most reliable, dependable rocks in a team that has, over this writer’s lifetime, gone from being a bunch of lovable, beer-swilling patriots to an embarrassment of hair-care obsessed, sleeve-tattooed, image conscious narcissists.
I must ask you, are you a bitter man? Did your eight ODIs and 18 test matches leave you unfulfilled? Did marrying Bob Simpson’s daughter not satisfy you enough? Please, for God’s sake, quit Cricket Australia and go focus on your full-time job as partner at South Australian insurance firm Winter Hilditch & Fotheringham, where the only recipients of your callous judgments are uninsured motor cyclists and asbestos victims.
Furthermore, as a trained lawyer, you might be aware of the Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Cth), which prohibits termination of employment on the grounds of age. Your ‘youth policy’ is in direct contradiction to this legislation, I believe. I’d love nothing more than to see Simon Katich take you straight to the High Court, in dogged, Darryl Kerrigan-style, giving the CA executives in their pin-striped suits one final taste of the steely determination that has defined his entire cricketing career.
The transition of the Australian cricket team from proud national symbol to laughingstock is now complete.
You may submit your public apology to the mail address listed below this letter.