New South Wales axe Simon Katich as captain

Simon Katich had lost his central contract with Cricket Australia earlier this year Getty Images

Sydney: Oct 12, 2011

Australian batsman Simon Katich was Wednesday removed as captain of New South Wales after having led the state team for nine years. All-rounder Stephen O’Keefe has been named Katich’s successor.

Cricket New South Wales (CNSW) had made up its mind to bring a new leader in the winter but waited for the right time for a public announcement.

O’Keefe is in Australia’s T20 squad for the South Africa tour hence Ben Rohrer will lead NSW in his absence.

“Simon has been an outstanding captain of New South Wales for the past nine years and we are indebted to him for the service he has given in this role,” chief executive CNSW David Gilbert in a statement.

“When I discussed with him during the winter the need for a captaincy succession plan for the mid to long term, it was typical of the man that he accepted that this was the way forward. His leadership both on and off the field over the past nine years has set the benchmark.”

Katich, 36, lost his central contract with Cricket Australia earlier in the year.

“Stephen is a talented cricketer and will do an excellent job of leading the side. I accept and respect the decision to appoint a new captain with an eye to the future,” said Katich.

The southpaw’s last assignment as captain of NSW was the Champions League T20 where his team lost in the semifinals.

Katich, however, will continue to play for NSW.(IANS)