SYDNEY (Reuters) - Simon Katich is retiring from Australian first class cricket to spend more time with his family, the former test opener announced on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old, who scored 4,188 runs in 56 test at an average of 45.03, was at the centre of a major row last June when he was dumped by Cricket Australia from the list of centrally contracted players.
Katich, who scored 10 test centuries for his country, in part blamed bad blood emanating from a 2009 dressing room confrontation with Michael Clarke, who was made captain last March, for his omission.
The gritty lefthander was reprimanded for those comments in December and played no part in Australia's drawn series against New Zealand and whitewash of India in the domestic summer.
Katich, who also played 45 one-day matches for Australia, conceded last year that his international career was over and in October gave up the captaincy of New South Wales.
"Simon Katich wishes to advise that he has decided to retire from first class cricket in Australia," read a statement from England where Katich is playing country cricket with Hampshire.
"With a young family and a desire for an extended time at home, Simon has decided it is time to reassess his priorities."
Katich scored 5,309 runs at an average of 61.73 in 10 seasons with New South Wales after moving to Sydney from his native Western Australia.
"Simon's contribution to New South Wales cricket was quite simply outstanding," said Cricket New South Wales chief Harry Harinath.
"In his 10 years with our state he brought a passion, dedication and commitment that was admired by everybody.
"Not only was he a superb batsman, with a state and international record to rival the best, but he was a brilliant leader who was respected by all that played with him."
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Ossian Shine)