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Sacking Katich a pragmatic decision: Chappell

Melbourne: Simon Katich`s axing from Cricket Australia`s list of contracted players might have outraged several former players but Ian Chappell feels it was a "pragmatic decision".

"Is Katich`s dumping fair? Certainly not from the player`s point of view, but it`s fairly safe to assume that these days, in all walks of life, we“re not playing on a level field," Chappell wrote in a column for “The Daily Telegraph“.

"From the selectors“ point of view, they can`t worry about hurting a player`s feelings; if they did, they would never take a tough decision and they wouldn“t be any good at their job.

"It was a pragmatic decision by the selectors; they had to open up a slot and their best chance of filling it adequately was at the top of the order," he added.

Chappell said Katich`s injury problems last year and not age could have been the prime reason for his axing from the list, a move that was lambasted by the batsman and some former players such as Michael Slater.

"There`s no good time to get a major injury as a sportsman, but Katich`s serious setback last summer has turned out to be his Achilles heel, literally and figuratively," he said.

Chappell, a former captain, felt despite the pragmatic reasons for dropping Katich, it was still quite a gamble given that he has been a consistent performer.

"It`s a huge gamble to dump a player with Katich`s recent record when there are tough tours of Sri Lanka and South Africa coming up," Chappell said.

"However, good selection panels make tough decisions to pre-empt calamities rather than recover from a disaster. They also become a good panel by taking more correct decisions than overseeing howlers," he added.

"Whether this turns out to be a wise decision or a blunder, only time will tell. If it`s the latter, don`t expect the panel to go cap in hand with an apology to Katich." Chappell rubbished reports that current skipper Michael Clarke might have had a hand in the sacking of Katich due to a dressing room spat which took place two and a half years ago.

"Any cricket captain who makes selection choices on like and dislike is destined for a short reign. A leader who realises wins and losses all go against his name is more likely to choose players on ability.

"Therefore, anyone leaping to the conclusion that Michael Clarke – because of a recent disagreement – had something to do with Simon Katich`s demise has launched a bungee jump of world record proportions," he said.

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