Simon Katich’s Test career is effectively over after the 35-year-old opener was cut from Cricket Australia’s 25-man list of contracted players for the 2011-12 season.
Katich and WA skipper Marcus North were the highest-profile players dumped after their indifferent summers, along with James Hopes, Andrew McDonald, Clint McKay, Shaun Tait and Adam Voges.
Added to the list for the 2011-12 season are 18-year-old NSW paceman Patrick Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Jason Krejza, John Hastings, David Hussey, Usman Khawaja and James Pattinson.
Katich had been one of Australia’s most consistent players leading up to last summer’s Ashes series.
But a serious Achilles tendon injury suffered during the second Test against England signalled the end for the rock-solid opener, whose 56 Tests yielded 4188 runs at an average of 45.03.
Mike Hussey’s remarkable Ashes campaign was enough to save his skin, with the 36-year-old rewarded for his efforts with a new contract.
“Simon has been a fantastic player for Australia and a key and successful member of the Test team in recent years,” CA chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said.
“However, amongst other matters, the NSP (national selection panel) felt it was the right time now to start blooding our next opening partnership in preparation for the Ashes two years from now.
“The opening partnership is critical to the success of any team and takes time to develop the necessary experience at international level.
“We feel it is important this change is made now as we prepare for the challenges ahead.”