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Australia’s Watson set to end career after IPL disappointment

DUBAI: Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has decided to retire from all cricket after Chennai Super Kings failed to reach the Indian Premier League playoffs, a team member told AFP on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old has made nothing public but told his Chennai teammates of his decision in an “emotional” speech after their last IPL game on Sunday.

Tributes have already been made to the former stalwart of the Australian Test side.

“The curtain closes on a remarkable IPL career. Congratulations mate you’ve done yourself proud and made every team you’ve played in so complete,” wrote another former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody on Twitter.

Watson quit international cricket in 2016 but kept playing in Twenty20 leagues such as the IPL. He retired from Australia’s Big Bash last year.

He has played more than 700 international and domestic matches, scoring more than 25,000 runs with his big-hitting style and claiming in excess of 600 wickets with his pace bowling.

Watson won the inaugural IPL in 2008 with the Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals and secured a second with Chennai in 2018.

He has scored 3,874 runs and taken 92 wickets in the world’s richest cricket tournament, where he has played 145 matches for Chennai, Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has warned the three-time champions will be making major changes after failing to make the playoffs for the first time. Watson is expected to be the first of many veterans to leave.

Watson was 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.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.