Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has announced retirement from international cricket after the world T20 being played in India. Watson made his debut 14 years ago. Watson retired from Test cricket at the end of last year’s Ashes tour of England, and he has not played ODIs since September last year; he will officially depart from Australia’s international setup at the end of the ongoing World Twenty 20 in India.
Watson’s retirement is effectively the final cutting off ties to Australia’s dominant era of the early 2000s, he was the last remaining player turning out regularly in any format for Australia who had debuted before 2007, the year of the Warne-McGrath retirements. Watson has also confirmed that he is retiring from first-class cricket, having not played since the Ashes tour.
T20 has yet to invented when Watson made his international debut in an ODI against South Africa in Centurion on March 24, 2002. He was 20 at the time. Now on the eve of an important World T20 match against Pakistan, at the age of 34 and as a father of two children, Watson has decided that the time has come to move on to another stage of his life.
“One morning I woke up in Dharamsala to the beautiful view and I don’t know what it was exactly but I knew now was the right time,” Watson said. “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 anymore. I’ve made the right decision. I couldn’t really see the light with the all the injuries I had.”
Although Watson’s Test career was sometimes frustrating for Australian fans and selectors, he was a consistently high performer for his country in the shorter formats. At his peak he reached No.1 on the ICC’s T20 international batting rankings and spent two years as the No.1 all-rounder; in ODIs, he also reached No.1 as an all-rounder in 2011 and peaked at No.3 as a batsman.
Jis clean striking at the top of the order made him a consistent threat as an opening batsman; only Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting struck more sixes for Australia in ODI than Watson, who played far fewer games. As a bowler, he was accurate and reliable, could swing the ball when conditions suited and provided vital to the line up.
He has played 190 ODIs and has 5757 runs, 168 wickets to his name. He also holds the highest score by an Australian batsman in ODI. His 185 against Bangladesh in 2011 World Cup is the highest scored Watson. Ahead of his final T20 international matches, WatsonAhead of his final T20 international matches, Watson has 1400 runs at 28.00 from 56 games, and 46 wickets at 24.71.
Watson is one of only seven cricketers who have achieved the double of 10000 runs and 250 wickets n international cricket across all three formats; the others are Steve Waugh, Carl Hopper, Sanath Jayasuriya, Jacques Kallis, Shahid Afridi and Chris Gayle. He also captained Australia in all three formats adding T20s to his list in January against India, his 124 not out in that game being the highest T20 international score by a captain.
He has played in three World Cup campaigns and was part of Australia’s triumphs in 2007 and 2015. Watson also was the man of the match in the final of 2006 and 2009.