As the players begin their preparations for the 2013 season, Graham Hardcastle profiles overseas signing Simon Katich who is returning to the Club.
Simon Katich is a man for all seasons. With an enviable record in all forms of cricket, the experienced Australian has been a roaring success playing cricket at home and in England during a career which began in 1996/97.
The 37-year-old left-handed batsman, who can bat in the middle order or as an opener, has played first-class cricket for eight different teams, including in 56 Test matches for Australia, and he returns to Old Trafford in 2013 for the second time.
When he turns out for Lancashire in 2013, he will lose the record as the only man to ever play just one County Championship match for both Lancashire and Yorkshire having played for the White Rose in 2002 and the Red Rose in 2010, ironically against the old enemy.
He originally signed on with Lancashire as a specialist Twenty20 overseas player in 2010, top-scoring with 41 not out in the last of his nine matches against Leicestershire at Grace Road.
The Western Australian-born player looks certain to pass 20,000 first-class runs during the second season in the North West, a haul which has included 54 hundreds, ten of which have come in Test matches.
Although he will readily admit that he is not as explosive as fellow Australian international left-handers such as Adam Gilchrist and David Warner, Katich has found a way to make himself into a valuable member of any limited overs side, whether it be in one-day or Twenty20 cricket.
At time of writing, he was averaging a touch over 36 in List A cricket and just over 30 in Twenty20s.
He has played 45 one-day and three Twenty20 internationals, and has played in the Indian Premier League. Prior to the 2013 English summer, he was captaining Perth Scorchers in Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash League.
Upon re-signing for the county, Katich spoke about his memories of playing in the 2005 drawn Ashes Test match at Old Trafford.
But his most successful period in Australia’s Baggy Green cap came when he returned to the side in May 2008 after two-and-a-half years away from the top level. He played as an opener, scoring six hundreds in 16 matches, including 122 against England at Cardiff in 2009.
Katich, who retired from first-class cricket in Australia midway through 2012, arrives at Lancashire after leaving Hampshire, for whom he scored 1,116 runs across the three competitions last summer, including 738 in the Championship. Hampshire won both limited overs trophies.
He has scored three double centuries and one triple in his career, with the triple being 306 for New South Wales against Queensland in October 2007. Katich, nicknamed Kat, has also played county cricket for Derbyshire and Durham.
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
Article (c) Lancashire CCC Ltd