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Shane Watson retires from all forms of cricket

SYDNEY: Australian player Shane Watson has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

Watson, a right-hand bat and right-arm fast-medium bowler, will hang up his boots after an illustrious career during which his side won two World Cups and two ICC Champions Trophy titles. Watson continued to play in T20 leagues around the world since retiring from international cricket in 2016.

A few days after his team Chennai Super Kings (CSK) played their last match of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, he confirmed that he was bringing the curtain down on his professional cricket. “I feel crazily lucky to have lived out my dream, and then some,” Watson said in a video message posted on his website.

“It feels like the right time. Knowing that I’ve played my last game of cricket ever for my beloved CSK … To think that I’m finishing up my playing days as a 39-year-old, after all of my injury setbacks that I had along the way, I feel so ridiculously fortunate.”

Watson made his ODI debut for Australia in 2002 against South Africa and was part of a golden era for the team. He missed the 2003 World Cup triumph due to injury, but he was crucial in their Champions Trophy title win in 2006 against West Indies.

In 2007, Watson tasted World Cup glory as his side saw off Sri Lanka, and in 2009, he fired 105 not out against New Zealand to steer the Aussies to back-to-back ICC Champions Trophy titles, as well as another Player of the Match award himself.

He was named Test and ODI vice-captain in 2011 and racked up his highest international score of 185 not out off 96 balls against Bangladesh in an ODI, breaking a number of records for the format at the time.

In 2016, he was named T20 captain, becoming one of just a few Australians to captain the team in all formats of the game. Despite retiring from international cricket in 2016, Watson was named Australia’s T20 Player of the Year in January 2017.

Watson played in the inaugural Indian Premier League season in 2008 for Rajasthan Royals as he helped them win the title, while being named Player of the Tournament, an award he picked up again in 2013.

He later spent time with Royal Challengers Bangalore before moving to Chennai Super Kings. He smashed 80 from 59 balls as his side missed out by just a single run to Mumbai Indians in 2019 final.

He also enjoyed spells as captain of Big Bash League franchise Sydney Thunder, while also playing in Caribbean Premier League and Pakistan Super League.

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