Australian batsman Simon Katich has rejected the offer of a new contract from Hampshire and will instead rejoin Lancashire for the 2013 season. The 37 year-old, who has also played for Durham, Yorkshire and Derbyshire, last played for Lancashire in 2010.
Katich said, “I’m delighted to be returning to Lancashire after a short stint there in 2010. Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone at Hampshire for all they have done for me. I leave with many great friends and fond memories.
“Lancashire are a proud club who I’m sure will be looking to head straight back up to Division 1 and I’m determined to play a big part in this happening. I enjoyed working with Peter Moores and Glen Chapple in 2010. Their professionalism and attention to detail was particularly impressive and I’m hopeful, that with my experience, I can be a senior member of the squad and help a relatively young group in having a successful season in all forms of the game.”
Katich will replace South African left-hander Ashwell Prince as Lancashire’s overseas player next year. Prince scored 1325 runs for the club across all formats last season and was their most successful batsman in first-class cricket.
Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams had been hopeful of Katich making a return to Southampton. Speaking earlier this week, he said, “Kat has got a few things and other off-the-field opportunities (he is pursuing a career in player welfare in the AFL) in the mix back home and is looking at that. I think he would like to play another year [with us] but it depends how it all fits. It’s just a case of tying these things down. Until someone puts pen to paper, you can’t be 100-per-cent sure.
“The good thing about Kat was that he was there all season and that is often hard to sort out these days. It tends to work better for those who don’t play in internationals any more. With current internationals, the fixture list makes it very difficult to sort out.”
Katich’s returns for Hampshire last season were excellent. He was a key part of their Clydesdale Bank 40 winning side, as well as being a reassuring member of their LV= County Championship team. Overall, his average last season was very similar to that of Prince’s at Lancashire - in the mid-thirties - so it remains to be seen exactly what his new club Lancashire will gain.
In brighter news for Hampshire, seam bowler Hamza Riazuddin has agreed a new contract for the 2013 season. Riazuddin is still not quite a permanent fixture in Hampshire’s first eleven, despite making his club debut in 2008, but is likely to get more opportunities next season following Kabir Ali’s departure, also to Lancashire.
© Cricket World 2012
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