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Things are really well with Clarke: Watson

868   //    13 Mar 2013, 19:36 IST

Australia v Sri Lanka - Second Test: Day 2

Sydney - Australia vice-captain Shane Watson insists that he has no problems with his captain Michael Clarke and rejected Cricket Australia (CA) general manager Pat Howard’s claims that he was only “sometimes” a team player.

Watson, who returned home here early Wednesday morning after an 18-hour journey, hoped that his Test career was not over and said everything was fine between him and Clarke.

“The way relationships work, there’s always ups and downs like there is in marriages, friendships and everything. I’ve been playing cricket with and against Michael Clarke since I was 12. We’ve got a lot of history as people.

“We’re obviously quite different people in certain ways but very very similar in a lot of ways as well. In the end, like you do in every relationship, it goes up and down, and things are going really well at the moment with me and Michael. With Pat Howard, he’s only come on board the last year and a half. Myself and Michael go a little bit further back than a year and a half,” Watson told reporters here.

Watson said he had spoken to Clarke immediately after landing here on comments made by Howard.

Taking pot shots at Howard, Watson said: “All I can really say is go around and ask every person I’ve ever played cricket with and that will give you the best indication of whether I’m a team man or not. Pat Howard doesn’t particularly know me very well.

“He’s come from a rugby background and hasn’t been in and around cricket very long. I think the best people to ask are the people I’ve played cricket with and they’ll be able to give their honest opinion.”

Watson admitted that he made a mistake by not submitting his homework on time as asked by the team management.

“I, with a few other guys, took it as leading into the Test match and I got that extremely wrong, which meant that it’s cost me a Test match. They (the leadership group) obviously thought that was the right decision for the team at this point in time. I accept that I did the wrong thing with what I did, but I will always find it very hard to accept being suspended from a Test match for my country.

“I’ve missed Test matches and games through injury throughout my career. I feel like I’ve worked my absolute bum off to have an opportunity to represent my country. When that’s taken away from you, you think the actions must be very severe. That’s where we differ on our opinions. I think it’s extremely harsh. I expressed my extreme disappointment with the punishment,” he said.

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