SYDNEY (AFP) - Former Test skipper Ricky Ponting has said he was shocked by Cricket Australia's decision to dump senior batsman Simon Katich from its list of 25 contracted players. Ponting said Katich was also within his rights to criticise his treatment by the selectors and Cricket Australia (CA) in comments he made during a press conference last week. Katich, a 56-Test veteran, said he was stunned to be told last week that he had been cut from Cricket Australia's 25-man list of contracted players for the 2011-12 season, despite being one of the country's most consistent performers. The 35-year-old opening batsman said the decision was "absolutely ridiculous" and Ponting said Katich's criticism was warranted. "It's fair to say he didn't hold back in his press conference and rightly so as well," Ponting said on a television sports programme Thursday.