The all-rounder Shane Watson has retired from Test cricket with immediate effect, Cricket Australia has announced.
The 34-year-old won 59 Test caps, the last of which came in the opening match of the past Ashes series at Cardiff, where England triumphed by 169 runs. Watson made 30 and 19 with the bat and failed to take a wicket, leading to him losing his place for the rest of the series.
The decision coincides with Watson being ruled out of the rest of the Royal London one-day international series by a calf injury sustained in the tourists’ victory at Lord’s on Saturday.
Watson, an Ashes winner in 2013-14, told team-mates of his Test retirement on Sunday morning. It comes after the Australia Test captain Michael Clarke’s announcement to retire from all forms of cricket in the wake of the Ashes series defeat in England.
I just know it’s the right time to move on. I don’t have that real fight in me, especially for Test cricket, knowing the lengths physically that I’d have to go through, mentally and technically as well, to be at my best in Test cricket, so I just know it’s the right time.
Watson began and ended his Test career in the Australia middle order but it was as an opener that he enjoyed most success in the five-day game. First pressed into the role during the 2009 Ashes in England, Watson made a success of the promotion and stayed at the top of the Australian order for more than two years before spending the rest of his Test career in varying roles.
Between his regular opening stint and retirement, he batted in every slot in the top six. His Test career ends with a haul of 3,731 runs at 35.19, including four centuries, two of which came in Ashes contests. With the ball, fast-medium bowler Watson took 75 wickets at 33.68. A limited-overs specialist, he has been hit by a series of injuries in recent years but hopes to play on for his country in the shorter formats.
He is convinced that leaving Test cricket behind is the right step forward for his career.
It’s been a decision that hasn’t come lightly, over the last month especially.
“I 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.”