Even if Simon Katich, the Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) assistant-coach, wins IPL 10, he may leave India with a tinge of regret. That’s because a restaurant where he had a lamb shoulder dish in New Delhi recently didn’t share the recipe. “Bit of a disappointment that because I wanted to replicate it at home,” the former Australia opener told HT before breaking into a laugh.
Cooking is serious business for Katich, serious enough for him to qualify for the semi-finals of Celebrity MasterChef Australia. His recipe for vanilla panna cotta with raspberry coulis is available online. Katich hasn’t stirred the pot here yet but at home, he said, he works the ladles for the wife and the boys every night.
“The only gifts I get at Christmas are cook books, utensils and things related to cooking,” said Katich who played 56 Tests, averaged 45.03, scored 10 Test hundreds and led New South Wales.
You could call it Katich’s other love if his interests were restricted to cricket and cooking. But he works in the media during the Australian summer, is putting his commerce degree to use as a consultant for the Australian players’ association as it negotiates a new deal with Cricket Australia and two days after finishing a cricket career on a Friday night --- winning the Big Bash in 2014 --- Katich joined Great Australian Sydney Giants, an Australian Rules Football team. As ‘messenger’ between the team and the coach.
“In cricket, the captain’s in charge but here the coach is. I would convey any message he wanted to get across to the players,” said Katich. That role helped him create a leadership programme for the team, he said.
“I had opportunities to stay in cricket but I wanted to get out for a while, having done it for 20 years full time. Especially with a young family at home. …The first year I spent doing that (being a messenger) and the second year I learnt being an operations manager which is more of an administrator’s role. Part of my job was like going to the auction and putting together KKR’s squad.
“I wasn’t across everything footy-wise but a lot of decision making is the same. It helped that I was captain (at NSW) because as a captain you do get to sit in a lot of such meetings, with selectors etc. ”
Aussie football stopped because KKR came calling. From August, he will also be part of the coaching staff at Trinbago Knight Riders, who share the same owners with KKR, working out recipes for success in the Caribbean as he is in Kolkata.