Watson to retire from international cricket after World T20

Mohali, March 24 (IANS) Australian all-rounder Shane Watson announced on Thursday that he will retire from international cricket after the conclusion of the ongoing World Twenty 20.

The 34-year-old will however continue to play domestic Twenty20 tournaments, including in the Big Bash League for the Sydney Thunder.

“It’s been over the last week that it’s really become clear that now really is the right time to retire from all international cricket,” Watson was quoted as saying by the Cricket Australia website.

“I’ve been playing with the thought for a few months now and I know now with the way the group is continuing to evolve, which is exciting to be able to see, with my young family as well, and seeing the potential of the international schedule is very hectic.”

The veteran all-rounder said he feels it is the right time for him to quit.

“And I just know it’s the right time to be able to right now clear my mind knowing that I’ve made the decision and be absolutely ready to go for these next two very important games,” he said.

A dangerous opening batsman and talented medium-pacer, Watson scored 5,757 runs from 190 One-Day Internationals and grabbed 168 wickets. In T20’s, he has collected 1400 runs and 46 wickets from 56 games.

Watson had played alongside legends like Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist and he added that he misses them.

“I really enjoyed my time being back in the Australian squad but, it is quite different,” he said. “None of the other guys that I played with growing up are here anymore.

“I know how privileged I’ve been to be in the position to start out so young with so many incredible players. That’s part of what I’ve always seen myself being the filter to pass on that knowledge to the guys that I’m involved with.”

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland congratulated Watson for his contribution to the game during his career.

“Shane should be proud of his contribution to Australian cricket,” Sutherland said.

“At his best, he was a devastating batsman and skilful swing and seam bowler who thrilled crowds the world over. And to his enormous credit he is the only Australian batsman to have scored centuries in all three forms of the game.”

“As a senior member of the team he always showed his leadership capabilities by guiding and encouraging younger players. He is also one of a very select group to lead our country in Test cricket.”

Sutherland also chose to keep Watson alongside the great Steve Waugh by comparing him to the former all-rounder and urged fans to wish him well.

“To be bracketed with Steve Waugh as Australia’s most prolific batting all-rounder in Test and one-day cricket is a very significant statement about his international career,” he said.

“He also goes into the history books having won two Allan Border Medals as the country’s cricketer of the year.

“I am sure Australian cricket fans join us in wishing him well in his retirement from international cricket and look forward to him continuing to play in the Big Bash League with the Sydney Thunder,” he added.

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