Australia’s Shane Watson has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket following his virus-hit Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) came to an end. The 39-year-old has made nothing public but told his CSK teammates of his decision in an “emotional” speech after their last IPL game over the weekend, which saw them failed to make it to the playoffs.
The MS Dhoni-led CSK were the first team to be eliminated from IPL 2020. They played their final game of the season against Kings XI Punjab, where they cruised to a 9-wicket win to end the campaign on a high. In 11 games for CSK, Watson scored only 299 runs at an average of 29.90 and a strike rate of 121.05. He was replaced at the top by Gaikwad in the final three games and CSK went on to win all.
“Watson was very emotional when he told the CSK dressing room after the last game that he would retire. He said that it was a great privilege for him to play for the franchise,” reports quoted a source. Watson retired from Test cricket in 2015 but has played T20 cricket since in both the IPL and Big Bash League. He was memorably the first player to score a century in Test, one-day and T20 formats.
Watson also announced his retirement from the BBL at the end last season. The former Test opener tallied 3874 runs in 145 games, 92 wickets and 40 catches over the course of his IPL career, according to stats website. He took to Twitter after his final match for Chennai to thank the franchise and fans for their support over the years. “One more great performance to sign off this season of @IPL,” he wrote.
Watson has played a vital role in CSK’s success in the past few years. In 2018, the former Aussie all-rounder was picked up in the auction by CSK and had smashed a century in the all-important final to help his team win the trophy. He was once again the star of the show for the franchise in the 2019 final, but CSK lost to Mumbai Indians by just one run.
His performance in the IPL in 2008 had helped resurrect his international career. He won the 2015 ICC World Cup with the Australian team. Watson is set to make a formal announcement on his retirement on his return to Australia from the United Arab Emirates, where the IPL has been held behind closed doors because of the coronavirus.
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