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    Katich retires from first-class cricket

    Sydney: Australian batsman Simon Katich on Tuesday announced his retirement from first-class cricket in Australia, citing family reasons. Katich, 36, is currently playing with Hampshire in the English county season and is committed to play for the Perth Scorchers in the Champions League Twenty20 in October.

    He was axed from the Australian team after the 2010-2011 Ashes series defeat to England in Australia and was stripped of the New South Wales captaincy last year in the Sheffield Shield competition. Katich released a statement through Cricket Australia, citing his family as the main reason for his retirement.

    "With a young family and a desire for an extended time at home, Simon has decided it is time to reassess his priorities," CA said.

    Katich, a left-handed top-order batsman, played 56 Tests from 2001 to his last appearance against England in Adelaide in December 2010. His demotion from the Test team was highly controversial and his tense relationship with Australian skipper Michael Clarke was played out heavily in the media.

    Katich scored 4,188 runs in Tests at an average of 45.03 with 10 centuries. He made 44 one-day international appearances for 1,324 runs at 35.78. He began his Sheffield Shield career with Western Australia but joined New South Wales in the 2002-03 season and went on to score 8,807 runs for both the states at 55.39 with 26 centuries.

    "Simon's contribution to New South Wales cricket was quite simply outstanding," Cricket New South Wales chairman Harry Harinath said. "Not only was he a superb batsman, with a state and international record to rival the best, but he was a brilliant leader who was respected by all who played with him," he said.