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Katich shocked by Pontings T20 decision

Test opener Simon Katich says he is shocked by Ricky Ponting's decision to retire from Twenty20 International cricket, but believes other players will follow his lead.

Ponting is keen to play on until the next Ashes series in England in 2013 and has opted to ditch the ultra-short and extremely popular version of the game.

"It came as a shock," Katich told reporters on Tuesday.

"He has been playing very well, so to pull out of one form of the game, I totally respect that decision.

"It's his call and he knows his body best. He has made his vision clear and I think it's important to know where you are headed.

"I think there's a chance there will be more of that happening down the track, particularly when guys are later in their career, because there's no doubt one-day cricket does take a lot out of guys."

The heavy workload of players participating in all three forms of international cricket has resulted in Test vice-captain Michael Clarke withdrawing from the NSW team for next month's lucrative Champions League T20 tournament in India.

The Blues have also lost Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin who has pulled out of the Champions League and the Australian side for this month's Champions Trophy tournament following recent finger surgery.

Katich said he wasn't surprised by Clarke's decision to pull out of the Champions League T20 tournament.

"Given that there's so much coming up for the Australian team not just now, but also after the Champions League," Katich said.

NSW on Tuesday named a 15-man squad including nine internationals for the Champions League.

"The Indian teams will definitely hold the advantage playing in their own conditions and given they've got access to up to 10 international players," Katich added.

"We've got a lot of experience in our squad with guys having played international cricket, but we also know that it's going to be a tough series."

NSW and Victoria will represent Australia in the inaugural 12-team Champions League.

Looking ahead to the domestic season, Katich wasn't overly concerned at the selection issues facing the Blues with four Test openers on their books.

Shane Watson has crossed from Queensland and joins Katich, Phil Hughes and Phil Jaques in the squad.

However Katich said NSW were unlikely to see much of Watson this summer and probably not before the end of November and hinted he would probably drop himself down the order.

"When I've played here, I've batted anywhere so I don't think it's an issue, it hasn't been in the past," Katich said.

"From my point of view, whatever is best for the team will be the way it goes."

Cricket NSW chief executive David Gilbert said he was still trying to sign Sri Lankan captain and batsman Kumar Sangakkara for the domestic Twenty20 tournament in the December/January but was waiting to hear whether the player would be available.

The NSW team for the Champions League tournament starting on October 8 is: Simon Katich (capt), Aaron Bird, Doug Bollinger, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Daniel Smith, Nathan Hauritz, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Brett Lee, Stephen O'Keefe, Ben Rohrer, Steven Smith, Dominic Thornely and David Warner.

source - theage.com.au
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