Cape Town - In his playing days Simon Katich was considered a very smart cricketer that offered plenty tactically.
He was an accomplished leader at state level with New South Wales, and were it not for his advanced age may have gone to lead Australia in Test cricket.
It was therefore no surprise that coaching appealed to Katich after his international career that spanned 104 matches across formats drew to a close.
The exponential growth of T20 franchise cricket coincided with the start of Katich’s coaching career, which provided the platform for the Western Australian native to share his intellectual capacity liberally as he took up the role of head coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL after a stint as assistant coach with Kolkata Knight Riders. He was also assistant coach at Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Five players to watch in the SA20 opener pic.twitter.com/mzN0at0ol2— IOL Sport (@IOLsport) January 10, 2023
Katich also lined up a strategic list management and mentoring role at his hometown Perth Scorchers before joining the Manchester Originals as head coach in England’s Hundred competition.
It is this extensive white-ball experience that saw Katich land his latest job as head coach of MI Cape Town in the brand new SA20.
The 47-year-old has a stellar squad at his disposal, but his gameplan and strategies and the cultivation of a strong culture will be crucial in getting them to play to their full potential.
“We want to play an aggressive and attractive brand of cricket. But we also know that the conditions sometimes don't always allow that to happen, so we are going to play smart cricket,” Katich said.
“I think with my coaching style I like to be methodical and be prepared as possible. The attention to detail is there with everything we do.
“It's trying to find the balance between the entertainment part of the game, which plays a big part in T20s, but also the strategy side which is going to ensure that we have a big advantage of playing at home."
Katich will have a selection dilemma to deal with before the opening game against Paarl Royals at Newlands on Tuesday.
MI Cape Town captain Rashid Khan was non-committal to the availability of superstar fast bowler Kagiso Rabada for the tournament opener. Rabada, along with Rassie van der Dussen, only arrived back in South Africa on Monday evening after a 30-hour long journey from Australia.
Katich does, though, have plenty of seam options to cover for Rabada in the form of England’s Jofra Archer, Duan Jansen, Ziyaad Abrahams and Beuran Hendricks in the squad.