The Courier-Mail

Watson calls it quits for Tests

- BEN HORNE

SHANE Watson has retired from Test cricket, admitting he has lost the fight within.

One of Australia’s most maligned players said he didn’t achieve everything he wanted to in the baggy green but bows out of the game knowing that he gave his heart and soul for his country.

An emotional Watson addressed teammates in London on Sunday morning, before he flies home due to a calf strain which has ruled him out of the remainder of the ODI series against England.

Watson was dropped from the Test side after the first Ashes Test and after weeks of deliberati­ng decided it was time to go.

“In the last couple of years in Test cricket I haven’t been able to produce exactly what I’ve wanted so I don’t think I got marked harder than anyone else,” Watson said.

“I just wasn’t performing how I know I could have and in the end things got written about me accordingl­y.”

Watson said selectors had talked to him about staying on so that his experience could help captain Steve Smith, however with his place in the Test XI looking increasing­ly unlikely, the star said he didn’t want to simply hang around. which still pulls in the bulk of his $4 millionlli annual earnings. We’re still cheering for him. Once a Queensland­er, always a Queensland­er. MICHAEL Clarke (pictured) never faced a ball in Big Bash cricket yet he still managed to get up the nose of three franchises.

The Sydney Sixers once courted Clarke

After fighting injury setbacks and public opinion for the best part of a decade, Watson admitted the spirit to continue left him.

“It’s been a decision that hasn’t come over the last month especially but I just know it’s the right time to be able to move on and still play shorter forms of the game,” Watson said with a quiver in his voice.

“It’s been for the last month something I’ve thought about a lot and I’ve been through a lot of different waves of emotion as well of what the right thing is for myself, my family and most importantl­y the team as well and over the last couple of days there was a lot of clarity of what the right decision was.

“I just know I’ve given everything I possibly can to get the best out of myself and I just know it’s the right time to move on. I don’t have that real fight in me, especially for Test cricket, knowing the lengths physically and mentally I have to go to to be at my best again in Test cricket.”

Watson retires as a veteran of 59 Tests, with four hundreds. It’s not the end, but Watson’s official exit from Test cricket closes a long chapter in Australian cricket.

“The hardest time emotionall­y was telling my teammates but in the end I’m not moving on forever,” Watson said. and were disappoint­ed to miss his signature.

Instead he signed a two-year contract with their cross-town rivals, the Sydney Thunder.

Clarke was paid for promotiona­l work but, much to the frustratio­n of Thunder officials, never actually managed to squeeze in a game for them.

This year Clarke signed with the Melbourne Stars, who had all their promotiona­l material for the new season ready to go when the former Aussie skipper pulled out of the deal.

Clarke reckons he might yet join them in a year or two. We’re not betting on it.

We also hope he doesn’t like teal. THE amazing ride of Jarryd Hayne into the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers has captured the imaginatio­n of sports fans everywhere – well, except one radio newsreader on the weekend, who did his wrap up of the latest news about “Jordan Hayne”.

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