Sydney: Former Australian opener Simon Katich has said that he has no regrets after his inflammatory comments about captain Michael Clarke, which resulted in a Cricket Australia reprimand on Monday.
The NSW opener appeared at a disciplinary hearing in Melbourne on Monday and pleaded guilty to a charge of making detrimental public comment. There was no fine and Katich is free to play for the Blues in the Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania starting in Canberra on Tuesday.
It may be recalled that on October 29, Katich said his much-publicized dressing room clash with Clarke after an SCG Test two years ago had contributed to the opener losing his national contract. Clarke has strongly denied that claim.
Katich had also said then that he would not return to the national team while Clarke was captain.
After Monday’s one-hour hearing, Katich was asked if he had changed his mind about not regretting the original comments, and a leading daily quoted him, as saying: ``I haven`t changed that stance, in terms of regretting comments.``
``I made the comments at the point of time, for what I perceived to be the case of me … not being selected to play Test cricket. From that point of view, it was never my intention to breach the code of behaviour … I`ve learnt a lesson from this,`` he added.
Katich said he had not given up on returning to the Test team and said there was no issue with playing in the same team as Clarke.
``You never give up - I`ve never given up my whole career,`` he said.
``That`s probably been one of my strengths, even when I was told four years ago they weren`t going to pick me again. My whole focus is to play good cricket for NSW, whether I get picked again … that`s not the issue.”
``We`ve done that [been teammates] for the last couple of years, so I don`t believe that was ever an issue, in terms of playing together,`` Katich said.
Former Australia captain Steve Waugh, Brett Lee and retired army general Peter Cosgrove provided personal references for the hearing.
Katich said retired County Court judge Gordon Lewis, who chaired the hearing, had taken into account the references and his previous record.
``I`ve always tried to speak as openly and honestly as possible. I think that was taken into account,” said Katich.