Michael Clarke has opened up on one of the biggest rumours of his career surrounding the exit of former opener Simon Katich from the Australian team.
Cricket fans will remember the buzz around the infamous confrontation between Clarke and Katich that rocked the Australian dressing room in 2009.
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Clarke was set to leave the dressing room to attend a pre-arranged function, but Katich and Michael Hussey were waiting to sing the team song after post-match drinks.
An argument ensued before Clarke and Katich were face-to-face, resulting in ‘Pup’ leaving the dressing room.
However, two years later Katich - a constant in the Australian team despite recent injury - was axed from the Cricket Australia contract list while Clarke was captain.
Clarke has always denied he had anything to do with the opener’s axing despite admitting he has heard plenty of rumours surrounding the incident.
Now, Clarke has opened up about how Katich’s axing transpired.
“The three they had to choose from was Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Simon Katich,” Clarke said on Big Sports Breakfast on Monday.
“They were going to give contracts to two of those three players and they went with Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey ahead of Simon Katich. So his contract selection had absolutely nothing to do with me.”
Clarke backed Katich for return
Clarke even said he pushed for Katich to be recalled to the team for the Ashes due to his experience.
“You are entitled to feel whatever you feel but I can tell you now, on that Ashes tour I fought to have him back into that squad because, I agree, we needed a top order batsman, and his numbers were outstanding over a long period of time,” he said.
Katich played his final game for Australia in 2010 and finished with 4188 runs at an average of 45.03 and scoring 10 centuries.