Wat­son in­jured ahead of World T20, out of PSL

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Allrounder Shane Wat­son has suf­fered an ab­dom­i­nal in­jury less than five weeks out from Aus­tralia's open­ing match of the World Twenty20. The in­jury oc­curred while Wat­son was bowl­ing for Is­lam­abad United in the Pak­istan Su­per League on Fri­day; he was ruled out of the re­main­der of the tour­na­ment and was to fly home for as­sess­ment by Cricket Aus­tralia's med­i­cal staff.

Wat­son was named in Aus­tralia's 15-man squad for the World T20 af­ter he smashed 124 off 71 balls open­ing the bat­ting in the third and fi­nal T20 against In­dia at the SCG last month, the se­cond-high­est in­di­vid­ual score in T20 in­ter­na­tional his­tory. In that match he also be­came the ninth man to cap­tain Aus­tralia in T20 in­ter­na­tional cricket, with Aaron Finch in­jured and Steven Smith and David Warner in New Zealand ahead of the ODI se­ries.

"I've un­for­tu­nately made this video be­cause I in­jured my­self last night bowl­ing," Wat­son said in a video posted on the Is­lam­abad United Twit­ter ac­count on Satur­day. "Dis­ap­point­ingly I'm go­ing to have to head home back to Aus­tralia to get as­sessed with the med­i­cal peo­ple back at Cricket Aus­tralia to try and get right for the Twenty20 World Cup."

Azhar Mah­mood has been drafted in to the Is­lam­abad squad as Wat­son's re­place­ment for the re­main­der of the PSL. Wat­son played each of Is­lam­abad's first six games, even lead­ing the team in two matches in the ab­sence of reg­u­lar cap­tain Mis­bah-ul-Haq. At the time of his in­jury, Wat­son was Is­lam­abad's lead­ing run­scorer, with 194 runs at 32.33.

Wat­son, who re­tired from Test cricket last Septem­ber, has mainly been play­ing T20 matches in re­cent months and at the IPL auc­tion last week he bagged the big­gest deal, be­ing bought for Rs 9.5 crores by Royal Chal­lengers Ban­ga­lore. His ab­sence will be a ma­jor set­back to an Is­lam­abad side that has won just two matches all tour­na­ment and is cur­rently rooted near the bot­tom of the ta­ble.

"Thankyou so much to my fran­chise, Is­lam­abad," Wat­son said. "I've had a hell of a lot of fun ... to be able to get to know all the lo­cal play­ers has been a lot of fun."

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