"It all started out as a dream, as a young kid, saying to my mum as I watched a Test match as a five-year-old, 'I wanna play cricket for Australia.' And now as I officially announce my retirement from all cricket, I feel crazily lucky to have lived out my dream, and then some," Watson said on his YouTube channel T20 Stars.
"It really does feel like the right time.
Shane Watson has announced his retirement from all formats of the game, bringing an end to his 20-year-long cricketing career. Watson had bid farewell to international cricket in March 2016 and had only been playing in overseas T20 leagues since his retirement from the Big Bash League (BBL) last year.
On Tuesday, he confirmed that the IPL game between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Dubai on October 29 was his last game at the competitive level. In IPL 2020, Watson scored 299 runs for CSK at an average of 29.90 and a strike rate of 121.05.
“It all started out as a dream, as a young kid, saying to my mum as I watched a Test match as a five-year-old, ‘I wanna play cricket for Australia.’ And now as I officially announce my retirement from all cricket, I feel crazily lucky to have lived out my dream, and then some,” Watson said on his YouTube channel T20 Stars.
“It really does feel like the right time. Knowing that I’ve played my last game of cricket, ever, for my beloved CSK, who’ve been so incredibly good to me over the last three years. To think that I’m finishing up my playing days as a 39-year-old after all of my injury setbacks that I’ve had along the way, I feel so ridiculously fortunate.”
Apart from the BBL and the IPL, Watson has also been a regular presence in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Following Watto’s decision to retire, wishes have poured in for the champion all-rounder from not only his fans but also from his fellow cricketers.
Here’s how the cricketing fraternity wished Watson following his retirement:
Congratulations brother ! It was great to play with you ! Best wishes for future endeavour! See you soon ! Love to beautiful family ❤️🙌☝️✊ https://t.co/RJBqtwOijC
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) November 3, 2020
Congrats @ShaneRWatson33 on a great career bud. You can be incredibly proud of what you have done. Good luck for all that lies ahead
— Faf Du Plessis (@faf1307) November 3, 2020
— Wahab Riaz (@WahabViki) November 2, 2020
— Sam Curran (@CurranSM) November 3, 2020
Love ya @ShaneRWatson33. You should be incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved. Still the cleanest striker we’ll know!
— Alyssa Healy (@ahealy77) November 3, 2020
Congrats on a Stellar career @ShaneRWatson33 – achieved so many incredible feats on and off the field. Was a privilege to play alongside and against you. Good luck for your next adventure!
— Mitchell McClenaghan (@Mitch_Savage) November 3, 2020
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) November 2, 2020
Hats off to you Watto on an unbelievable stellar career!
To continue to play at such a high standard at the age of 39 was incredible. To all the keyboard warriors that doubted you, where are they now! Now it’s time for
stage 2 @ShaneRWatson33 🙏🏻 https://t.co/6gypogoir2
— Brett Lee (@BrettLee_58) November 3, 2020
One of my favourite player @ShaneRWatson33 bid a farewell to all formats of cricket.Undoubtedly his career has been outstanding & been inspiration for many.wish him all the very best for his future.Go well mate👍🏻 pic.twitter.com/orkQbP9fsT
— Kamran Akmal (@KamiAkmal23) November 3, 2020
A little late to the party 🎉 but just wanted to congratulate @ShaneRWatson33 on a wonderful career in all formats. Certainly going to miss seeing your smiling 😁 dial on the ground & the slow walk off the field when you got out 😬 Enjoy your next phase 👏🏽👏🏽
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) November 3, 2020
An amazing run @ShaneRWatson33 and what a career ! Wishing you all the best in your new journey ! You and your game will be missed on the field. Go well !
— Azhar Mahmood (@AzharMahmood11) November 3, 2020
Congratulations on a wonderful career @ShaneRWatson33 you were one of the greatest all-rounders of modern day cricket, really enjoyed playing against you. Hope you have a great time and life post-retirement.
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) November 3, 2020
Congratulations on a spectacular career mate. You have achieved greatness in the game with your performances across the globe as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. All the very best for your future mate. Enjoy the time, @ShaneRWatson33 👊🏻 pic.twitter.com/9OfxdzWxba
— Sir Vivian Richards (@ivivianrichards) November 3, 2020