Melbourne: Simon Katich's sacking from Australia's list of contracted players might have outraged several former players but Ian Chappell feels that it was a "pragmatic decision". (Agencies)
"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 a newspaper.
"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.
Melbourne: Simon Katich's sacking from Australia's list of contracted players might have outraged several former players but Ian Chappell feels that it was a "pragmatic decision".