The call for Watson to come out of international retirement, which he took in 2016, has been growing in strength since his IPL heroics with current Australian T20 star Marcus Stoinis saying “he’s still good enough to play for Australia, for sure.”
In Dubai yesterday as he was announced as the Icon player for new T10 franchise Karachians, Watson was asked if after his match-winning 117 not out against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mumbai on Sunday night he would consider a return to the international scene.
“No! No,” said the 36-year-old, cutting the question short. “I’ve been very fortunate to have a good and long Australian career but my time’s done.”
“I know Australian cricket is missing two of its best batsman (the suspended Steve Smith and David Warner) for another probably ten months, but look in the end it’s the next generation coming through.
Just In : "Before the start of #IPL people & other teams made fun of us by saying that our #CSK is Chennai Senior Kings comprising of oldies & senior citizen. Today after winning the tournament I wanna tell everyone out there that Bbudah hoga tera baap."— TIMES HOW (@TiimesHow) May 27, 2018
- Shane Watson #CSKvSRH pic.twitter.com/1xScdsckww
“That’s how you develop your young cricketers, giving them an opportunity to see (how they do). It’s really sink or swim for some of the younger guys coming in. But it’s the best way to learn very quickly.”
Watson did however say he was happy to mentor younger players and would even consider a coaching role in the future.
“I am around playing these tournaments,” the veteran of 59 Tests said, “even during the Big Bash, to be able to mentor these players. I’m happy to mentor, not actually play because it’s up to the next generation.
“I’m very, very grateful to be able to play in the T20 tournaments and incredibly fortunate for an opportunity to play in a T10 tournament and for a franchise like Karachians.
“To be involved in a new wave of a new concept of T10 cricket. The ten overs definitely suits my body (these days) more than test cricket or four day cricket.”
“Like it was when I first started playing Twenty20 cricket in 2004-05 – it’s a different dynamic to what you think it’s going to be.”
Sanjay Manjrekar - You are old now but where do you get this much energy from?— Roshan Rai (@RoshanKrRai) May 27, 2018
Shane Watson - India's Prime Minister works 26 hours a day at the age of 67. He is my inspiration and that's where I get the energy from.
Proud moment for every Indian 😍#CSKvsSRH#IPL2018Final pic.twitter.com/8FBtcW9cGl
Watson has not yet spoken to the disgraced Australian captain Steve Smith about the incident in South Africa but he will be linking up with him to play grade cricket for Sutherland in Sydney at the start of the Australian summer in September and is looking forward to spending time with him then.
“I haven’t connected with him yet but I’m going to have a chance to play with him in club cricket,” said Watson.
“He (Smith) needs his space as well to be able to work through it but once he gets back in the cricket side of things and finds his feet again it will all get closer to getting back into it.”
Speaking further about the ball-tampering incident Watson said nothing like that happened during his tenure as Australian Test cricket, “or I would have got more wickets” he quipped.
With the IPL 2018 over, we select the best performers of the season. So here is our captain of the year. No prizes for guessing correctly.
BEST CAPTAIN OF THE SEASON
MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings)
Before the tournament began, there were doubts about Chennai’s ability to come good as they were packed with 30-year-olds and critics were quick to dub them ‘Dads’ Army’.
But once they secured a one-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in the first match, they became confident. Dhoni managed his resources brilliantly also led from the front by smashing 30 sixes despite a bad back, proving that despite being 36 years old, his finishing skills are still intact. The decision to opt for Faf du Plessis ahead of Sam Billings in the first playoff was a masterstroke as the South African fashioned Chennai’s victory by scoring 67 off 42 balls in a close contest. The plan to draft in Karn Sharma in place of the experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh in the final also paid off as the leg-spinner affected a run out and claimed the prized scalp of Kane Williamson.
As Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said: “Dhoni gives players the belief to excel.”
Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Asked to lead after David Warner was banned, the Kiwi did a remarkable job and was in contention for the best captain’s slot had he not lost the final.
Dinesh Karthik (Kolkata Knight Riders)
For a first-timer, Karthik (pictured above) did exceedingly well especially in infusing confidence in the youngsters like Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi and Prasidh Krishna.
With the curtains coming down on the 2018 edition of the IPL, we take a look at the best all-round performances over the course of the tournament.
BEST ALL-ROUND DISPLAY
34* & 3-19, Sunrisers Hyderabad v Kolkata Knight Riders in Eliminator
Often match-winners star with either the bat or the ball but to excel with both is rare. The Afghan teen did just that by dashing Kolkata’s hopes of making it to the final.
He first smashed 34 runs off just 10 balls, including four sixers and two fours, to help Hyderabad raise a strong total of 174, which at one stage looked bleak as they were struggling at 124-5 after 17 overs. He then returned to haunt Kolkata by unleashing his leg-breaks and claimed the wickets of Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn and Andre Russell to derail Kolkata’s chase.
He also took two catches in the final over and affected a run-out. The remarkable aspect of Rashid’s brilliance was that he stepped up every time it looked like the game was slipping away. Everyone knew how effective he was as a bowler but it was his batting that was a revelation as until that game he had scored just 25 runs from 15 matches.
Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders) 75 and 1-44 vs Kings XI Punjab
The Trinadian’s 36-ball 75 laid the foundations for the season’s highest total (245) and he then claimed the prize scalp of KL Rahul as Kolkata eked out a 14-run win.
Hardik Pandya (Mumbai Indians) 3-28 and 50 runs vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
It was an excellent all-round display by Pandya but it went in vain as Mumbai lost by 14 runs.