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Shane Watson retires from Test cricket after new injury

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

cricket Updated: Sep 09, 2015 12:00 IST
Australia's Shane Watson walks out before the start of the nets session in Northampton. (Reuters)
Australia's Shane Watson walks out before the start of the nets session in Northampton. (Reuters)

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

The last match of the 34-year-old's 59-Test career, which spanned a decade, 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, with 23-year-old Mitchell Marsh becoming the Test side's preferred all-rounder.

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.

"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."

Australia coach Darren Lehmann added: "Shane has been a fantastic servant for Australia in Test cricket.

"His determination to be the best he can be over more than a decade in the longest format has been an example to everyone and we look forward to him continuing to contribute in limited-overs cricket in the time to come."

Watson, who captained his country in one Test, stepped 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 which put Australia 2-0 up against England with three to play.

An Ashes winner in 2013/14 and a member of the Australia side that lifted this year's World Cup, Watson's career has been blighted by a variety of injuries.

Shifted up and down the batting order, including a relatively successful period as an opener, Watson's career Test figures of 3,731 runs at an average of 35.19 and 75 wickets at 33.68 meant he could not be considered a great all-rounder.

Conversion rate

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.