The Perth Scorchers will next week award the inaugural Simon Katich Medal to the club's Player of the Season after it was today announced the honour would be named after the side's maiden title-winning captain.
Katich drew the final curtain on his career following his captaining of the Scorchers to their drought-breaking win in the third season of the KFC Big Bash League, attracting plaudits for not only his abilities on the field, but also the values by which he lived off it.
The highly-respected and passionate West Australian was an important figure for a young playing group, helping to guide several tyros to achieve their potential.
The Board of the Western Australian Cricket Association approved the recommendation moved by CEO Ms Christina Matthews to strike the inaugural Simon Katich Medal for the club's best player of the championship defence in BBL|04, as voted on a 3-2-1 basis by the players at the conclusion of every match.
The medal will be presented at next Wednesday night's prestigious Laurie Sawle Medal Night at the Hyatt Regency, Perth.
The decision was made based on Katich's reflection of the WACA's core values - Accountability, Excellence, Honest and Trust, Teamwork - as well as the five pillars held by the team: Work Hard; Speak Honestly; Respect the Past; Earn Respect; Look After Your Mates.
The naming of the award is also a fitting honour for a passionate supporter of WA cricket.
Katich began his career with the Midland-Guildford Cricket Club, playing his maiden season of First Grade as a 16-year-old in 1992-93, and ended with 56 Tests and 4188 runs at the highest level, with 45 One Day Internationals and a further 1325 runs adding to his achievements.
He played 36 matches for the Scorchers - including all three BIG Finals and seven Champions League games - scoring 627 runs at an average of 26.13.
Katich was a pivotal member of the back-to-back Sheffield Shield winning WA sides of 1997-98 and 1998-99, making 115 runs in the latter final against Queensland, which put the Bulls to the sword and helped the travelling Warriors win by an innings and 31 runs.
New South Wales later benefited from the brilliance of Katich, who captained the Blues to the 2007-08 Sheffield Shield.
However, Katich brought more to the sides he represented than statistics and the legacy he entrenched at the Scorchers through his leadership, values and high-integrity have lived on well beyond his retirement.
Katich, who now works with AFL club GWS Giants as Player Development Co-Ordinator, said: "To have the Scorchers Player of the Year named after me is a huge honour.
"I know everyone will say that in speeches and stuff like that, but for me it's a lifelong honour and something I'm extremely proud about, given there's so many great people involved at the Scorchers.
"That's why it means so much for me.
"The inaugural Simon Katich Medal is a tough one to pick, the reason being that our strength at the Scorchers over the years has been that every player has contributed to the team success.
"This year, BBL|04, was certainly the same.
"Guys like Michael Klinger and Michael Carberry were outstanding with the bat, Adam Voges did brilliantly with the bat and his captaincy was outstanding.
"Then you've got guys like Jason Behrendorff, who was brilliant with the ball, AJ Tye as well was probably the find of the tournament.
"Even the youngster Brad Hogg was magnificent.
"I hate to be biased, but I'm probably going to have to go with my old mate Brad Hogg; he was magnificent and I think he might take out the title."
Scorchers CEO Ms Matthews said: “It’s great to recognise Simon, who was not only our inaugural title-winning captain but also a great servant of Western Australian cricket for decades.
“Simon’s leadership in the formative years of the Scorchers played a large part in establishing the club’s culture as winners, having reached all four BIG Finals.
“He also epitomises the type of person we want our players to be, respected both on and off the field by team-mates and opponents.
“Simon is the type of person you want permanently involved with your organisation and we feel this medal is a fitting reminder to the standards he set and which the playing group strives for.”
Tickets for the Laurie Sawle Medal Night, when the inaugural Simon Katich Medal winner will be announced, are available until 5pm Friday 27 March via this link.