Shane Watson Biography
When a cricket fan sits back and recalls the best all-rounders in the history of cricket, Australia’s Shane Robert Watson will surely be on their list. Born on the 17th of June, 1981, Watson was a right-handed batsman and a right-handed fast-medium swing bowler who hails from Queensland.
He is the first Australian to score international centuries in all three formats of the game.
‘Watto’, as he is fondly called, was a scholarship holder in the Australian Cricket Academy. Though he started his domestic career with Tasmania, he went back to play for his home team, Queensland.
At the age of 20, he was delivering top performances in the Pura Cup and caught the eyes of the selectors through his performances in the Pura Cup in Australia.
The all-rounder made his ODI debut in 2002 against South Africa at the Centurion. He scored just two runs and bowled six overs without any wickets. But the Aussies won the game by 45 runs.
Three years later, he had a mediocre Test debut against Pakistan where he did not contribute much to the team’s victory by nine wickets. He was a regular member in the team as he contributed more with the ball and played a handy finisher’s innings.
Rise to Glory
Watson rose to prominence in 2006 when he was asked to open the innings with Adam Gilchrist. He played two crucial innings by scoring half-centuries that led the Aussies to the Champions Trophy victory in India.
The all-rounder has won several awards in his career. He has been the ‘Australian Player of the Year’ in all formats of the game. He was declared the Man of the Series in the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 for scoring a total of 249 at an average of 49.80, while taking 11 wickets with the ball.
He is the only player to win four consecutive Man of the Match awards in ICC events.
The best knock of his career came against Bangladesh in 2011, when he scored 185* runs with 15 sixes and 15 fours. He also scored 124* against India in 2011 in a T20 game in Sydney.
His 5/40 at Lords against Pakistan in 2010 was one of his best bowling performances.
Shane Watson is a prominent figure in the Indian Premier League, having featured for the Rajasthan Royals until 2014. During his time with the Royals, he won two Man of the Tournament awards and also captained the franchise in 2014.
Thereafter, he was signed by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he did not deliver as expected.
At the 2018 IPL auction, he was bought by Chennai Super Kings for Rs. 4 crores.
In the Big Bash league, Watson is the skipper of Sydney Thunders. He is the Icon Player of the team Islamabad United in Pakistan Super League and also plays for Zouks in Caribbean Premier League.
Watson’s career was filled with injuries. He missed the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup due to three stress fractures on his back.
Ankle injury, calf injury and dislocated shoulders kept him out of the team for a very long time. Though he had a fragile body, he did not give up hope to survive at the highest level.
Watson captained the Australian test side in a single test match in 2013 due to the injury sustained by Michael Clarke. He did not have a memorable outside as the Aussies lost the match inside three days against India.
Watson hung up his boots in 2016 after his last T20 game against India. He was the number one T20 all-rounder at the time of his retirement.
As he was a member of the great Australian side in the early 2000s, he did not get much recognition then. His stats at the end of his career contained over 11000 international runs and 300 wickets.
The Australian all-rounder continues to play franchisee cricket all over the world. He is one of the greatest all-rounders the game has ever seen and his services will surely be missed by the Aussies.