Thank you MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming for keeping the faith: Shane Watson

Thank you MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming for keeping the faith: Shane Watson

Shane Watson announced his retirement from the IPL after CSK played their last league match.

Shane Watson and MS Dhoni
Shane Watson and MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Australia’s explosive all-rounder Shane Watson bid adieu to the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday, October 31 after his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) played its last match of the ongoing 13th edition of the T20 extravaganza against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). The opening batsman had a forgettable run this season as he could contribute just 299 runs with the willow in 11 games with two half-centuries.

Shane Watson expressed his gratitude to the CSK captain MS Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming for showing faith in him and retaining him for IPL 2020. The Australian all-rounder further admitted that backing by the CSK contingent helped him gain confidence. Shane also opined on the CSK fans saying that it was a surreal experience to see billions of people cheering for them not just in Chennai but in other parts of the country too.

“That you go 10 games without scoring runs and still get picked (laughs). Last season, thank you MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming for keeping the faith. That was phenomenal and made me feel that good to go, a bit of a block would not stop me,” Watson stated as quoted by India Today.

“It seems like there must be a billion people living in Chennai because there seems to be like a billion CSK supporters. Even travelling in other parts of India was like half of the stadium was full of CSK fans, which is an incredible part to be part of. There are not many things where this happens at all,” he added.

Shane Watson’s IPL journey

Watson had a phenomenal start to his IPL career in 2008 as he helped Rajasthan Royals (RR) in lifting the cup in the inaugural edition. He was the leading run-scorer and third highest wicket-taker for the Royals. He remained loyal to RR until 2015 but was picked by Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the IPL 2016. However, the all-rounder failed to justify his place and failed to contribute with both the bat and ball.

Despite two lukewarm seasons for RCB, CSK showed faith in Shane Watson and picked him for a handsome amount of INR 4 crore in 2018. The Australian veteran lived up to his heavy price tag as he had a scintillating season with the Chennai outfit. Opening the innings, Shane smashed 555 runs in 15 matches including a stunning century in the final against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) that helped the Yellow Army in lifting the cup for the third time.

But, the legendary all-rounder couldn’t repeat the heroics of 2018 in the 2019 edition as he managed just 398 runs in 17 fixtures. Despite being injured Shane Watson smashed a 59-ball 80 against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019 final but couldn’t take his team to the finishing line as CSK lost the match by 1 run.