Former Australia international Shane Watson on Tuesday announced his retirement from all forms of the game, ending a 20-year-long illustrious career during which he was one of the world’s best white-ball all-rounders.
Watson had already ended his international career in March 2016 and was only seen playing in overseas T20 leagues.
On Monday, the 39-year-old confirmed that the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on October 29 was his last game.
“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,” he said on his YouTube channel T20 Stars.
Cricketers from around the world paid tribute to the Aussie great, who is arguably one of the best all-rounders to have played the game.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers also bid farewell to their former teammate Watson with heartfelt posts on social media.
Watson, who has been part of the IPL right from the inaugural season, won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award twice for his brilliant all-round performances. He was instrumental in helping Rajasthan Royals (RR) to win their maiden IPL title in 2008.
After RR released Watto in 2015, he was roped in by RCB at the 2016 IPL auctions. He played in two seasons for RCB before joining CSK in 2018 and went on to win his second IPL title with the MS Dhoni-led side in their comeback season. Watson slammed an unbeaten century in the 2018 IPL final to lead CSK to a comfortable win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). He continued to open for CSK in the 2019 edition and once again helped them reach the final where they lost against Mumbai Indians (MI) by just one run.
“Well done on an amazing career watto. You’re a great cricketer but an even better human being. I’m glad we got to know each other better because of playing together. Wish you the best going forward and to your beautiful family too. You can be very proud of your journey mate. See you. Cheers,” Kohli wrote for Watson in his Instagram story.
De Villiers also shared a heartfelt message for his former RCB teammate on Instagram.
“A legend of the game and a fantastic person! Thanks for all the memories and the value you added to the game @srwatson33. The game moves on, but you’ll be missed,” ABD captioned his post.