- County news
Katich signs for Lancashire
Simon Katich, the seasoned Australian batsman, will be Lancashire's overseas player in 2013.
Katich, 37, spent a short period at Old Trafford two years ago and will be available for the entire 2013 season as Lancashire aim to put a dismal season behind them with a speedy return to Division One of the County Championship.
His vast experience has regularly been sought by a number of counties. He shunned a new contract with Hampshire, instead telling their captain Jimmy Adams that he was considering his options and eventually deciding to join a county who will be one of their main promotion rivals next season.
Katich has played 56 Tests for Australia and knows the county circuit well having played for Durham, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Hampshire. He said Lancashire's "professionalism and attention to detail" was a factor in his decision.
His task will be to bring stability to Lancashire's batting line-up and his commitment will be valued by the county as they seek to rebuild belief after following a Championship win with relegation the following season.
Mike Watkinson, Lancashire's cricket director, said: "Simon is a quality performer and a top character. He knows our club and county cricket very well and has enjoyed an outstanding career, averaging over 50 in first-class cricket. Naturally, we are delighted to welcome him back to Old Trafford."
Peter Moores, the county's head coach, expects Katich's influence to be particularly valuable to Lancashire's relatively young side - a side which was unable to halt their unexpected decline last summer. "We have an emerging group of Lancashire players who will benefit greatly from his experience and knowledge, and his ability as a player is beyond question."