New Delhi: Australian all-rounder Shane Watson will bow out of international cricket after the World Twenty20 in India, cutting the team’s last link to their golden era in the early 2000s.
The 34-year-old blond quit Tests last year after losing his battle against a spate of injuries that plagued his career, and has not featured in a one-day international since September.
“One morning I woke up in Dharamsala, waking up to the beautiful view and I don’t know what it was exactly but I knew now was the right time,” Watson told reporters in Mohali where Australia take on Pakistan in their next Super 10 match on Friday.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time being back in the Australian squad. But it is quite different, none of the other guys I played with growing up are here any more,” he added.
Watson made his one-day debut against South Africa in 2002, three years before he broke into the Test team led by Ricky Ponting.
Watson played alongside the likes of Ponting, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist and also helped to rebuild the side after his seniors quit the game.
Since his 2005 Test debut against Pakistan, regular hamstring and back injuries have taken a toll on Watson’s body, prompting him to end his Test career after 59 matches, scoring a total of 3731 runs to go with 75 wickets.
Watson was part of Australia’s 2007 and 2015 World Cup winning teams. A World Twenty20 title continues to elude Australia but Watson was adjudged player of the tournament at the 2012 edition of the tournament in Sri Lanka.
The big-hitting all-rounder, who attracted a $1.4 million bid from Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction last month, will continue to play domestic Twenty20 tournaments including the Big Bash League for the Sydney Thunder, Cricket Australia said.
“Shane should be proud of his contribution to Australian cricket,” CA chief executive James Sutherland said.
“At his best, he was a devastating batsman and skillful 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.”