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Aussie all-rounder Watson announces Test retirement

Australia’s veteran all-rounder Shane Watson announced on Sunday his retirement from Test cricket.

The last of the 34-year-old’s 10-year Test career came in the Ashes opener at Cardiff which England won by 169 runs.

Watson made 30 and 19 with the bat, and failed to take a wicket, causing him to lose his place for the rest of the series.

Watson’s Test retirement was announced on Cricket Australia’s official website.

“It’s been a decision that hasn’t come lightly, over the last month especially,” 

he said. “know it’s the right time to move on and still hopefully play the shorter formats of the game, one-dayers and T20s. “I’ve been through a lot of different waves of emotion about what is right for myself, my family and most importantly the team as well.

“Over the last couple of days there was a lot of clarity (for me) of what the right decision was. I just know that I’ve given everything I possibly can to get the best out of myself.” 

Watson, who captained his country in one test and nine one day internationals, steps down after being ruled out of the rest of the one-day international series by a calf injury sustained in the tourists’ victory at Lord’s on Saturday.

An Ashes winner in 2013/14 and this year’s World Cup – who had his run ins with the cricket authorities being one of four players to be dropped from the squad during the 2013 tour of India for not doing their homework – he informed his teammates of his decision on Sunday morning. It follows Australia Test captain Michael Clarke’s move to retire from all forms of cricket in the wake of the Ashes series defeat in England. Watson played 59 Tests for Australia, scoring 3,731 runs and taking 75 wickets. 

When fit, the strapping Watson looked the picture of a modern professional athlete.

But a failure to convert promising starts into hundreds – he got to fifty 28 times in his Test career yet scored just four centuries – and a recurring tendency to get out lbw, saw him become something of a figure of fun, even among Australia supporters, some of whom were often riled by his repeated inclusion in the side.

“I haven’t achieved certainly all the things I dreamed of achieving in Test cricket– average 50 with the bat and in the 20s with the ball. That’s obviously the dream as an all-rounder to achieve and obviously I didn’t get anywhere near that,” Watson later told reporters.

“Of course I didn’t convert the 50s into 100s that I certainly would’ve (liked to), but it’s certainly not through lack of trying. I was doing everything I could. It just wasn’t meant to be in that 

regard.” Watson also had his run-ins with Australian management, notably when, at the time when South African coach Mickey Arthur and captain Michael Clarke were at the helm, he was one of four players dropped from the squad during the 2013 tour of India for not doing their ‘homework’ after failing to provide a written report on how to improve the team’s performance.

Watson’s Test exit follows Clarke’s retirement from all international cricket after the recent 3-2 Ashes series loss in England. 
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