Champions League T20 news October 15, 2012

Watson ordered home to prepare for Tests

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Shane Watson's special case status has been underlined by Cricket Australia's decision to unilaterally withdraw him from the latter stages of the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa. Nonetheless, Australia's Test captain Michael Clarke has reminded Watson that he is not indispensable by bluntly pointing out that last summer's 4-0 defeat of India was achieved without him.

The conflicting demands of the 21st century game were writ large across CA's season launch in Sydney on Monday, as Test match notables including Watson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc were conspicuous by their absence due to the CLT20 in South Africa. Watson's early return from the event in order to prepare for the home Tests against South Africa had been whispered about for some days, before being confirmed amid a flurry of conversations around the launch.

Having taken part in the Sydney Sixers' opening victory over Chennai Super Kings in Johannesburg, Watson will play two more matches against Yorkshire and Lions before flying home ahead of the Sixers' final group game against Mumbai. He will then spend time resting and then training with the game's longest form in mind, with possible warm-up matches in the Futures League and Sydney grade competition in late October.

Watson will likely have one first-class fixture before the first Test. There is an Australia A tour match against the South Africans from November 2-4 in Sydney, and a Sheffield Shield game for New South Wales in Brisbane from November 2-5, though that fixture may be moved forward depending on the Sixers' fortunes in the CLT20.

"We are reviewing his load and circumstance very closely ... I think it's reasonably well known that it's likely he won't see the tournament out," CA chief executive James Sutherland said. "We're concerned about Shane. His injury record is unfortunate and what that tells us is that we need to monitor him and manage him very carefully and we are.

"I don't know the specifics but the priority will be for him to get himself right as possible. That's one, to give him a little bit of a break, then give him a little bit of therapy and whatever else he needs. But then also to really focus on getting him right to play Test cricket which he hasn't played for a long time - which most of our players haven't played for a long time ... give him the opportunity to play a Shield game and at least play with the red ball."

Watson broke down with a hamstring injury in November last year during a Test tour of South Africa, and his subsequent recovery took so long - setback by a calf complaint - that he did not play in any of the home Tests against New Zealand and India. Clarke said that while he wanted to avoid a repeat scenario this summer, he said Watson had to be performing strongly to keep his spot in the Test team, irrespective of his feats during the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

"Watto didn't play one Test last summer, so we don't want that to happen again, we want to manage him as well as we can, but in saying that Watto's no different to any other player, he's got to be performing to be picked in that team," Clarke said. "We beat India 4-0 without him last summer, he is a big player for Australian cricket, but he needs to be performing."

Stuart Clark, the Sixers' general manager, expressed his frustration at the decision. ''We're disappointed by it all. They want Shane to prepare for Test cricket. I understand those reasons - I just wish someone had told me this 15 months ago,'' Clark told The Sydney Morning Herald.

''Cricket Australia made it very evident when we said what are the value in Australian players [to us]? They said they can play cricket in the Champions League. That was obviously not conveyed to the high-performance team who don't give two hoots about the Champions League.''

Australia's management of players coming out of the CLT20 into Test series has been fraught with problems in the past, most notably Michael Hussey and Doug Bollinger having all of two days to prepare for the first Test in India in 2010 following their time at the tournament with Chennai Super Kings. This year CA have sent the bowling coach Ali de Winter to the event in order to monitor the likes of Hilfenhaus, Starc, Cummins and Watson, also commissioning him to thrust a red ball into their hands to prepare for the summer to come.

"We've got Ali de Winter over there, I know they're bowling with a red ball at training, bowling longer spells," Clarke said. "That's the thing where it is so difficult for a bowler compared to a batter. Bowling four overs in a day compared to coming back and playing a Test match where you've got to bowl 30 overs in a day - no wonder guys get injured.

"So we're trying to manage it as well as we possibly can. Whether we like it or not, that's the way the game's gone, Champions League is here to stay, IPL is here to stay, it's just about trying to manage individual players. The priority is, first Test of the summer, trying to get your best XI players onto the field."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ExtremeSpeed on October 18, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    I just want to say to the amount of people that's predicting an easy series win over Australia that Ricky Ponting is still playing.

  • anshu.s on October 18, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    What a joke CA trying to undermine there own tournament(stakeholders) and there own domestic team,big bash by withdrawing Watson,here was Watto bowling 4 overs without fuss and carting bowlers around but no viola CA reinforce there love fo test cricket.God forbid if Watson breaks down bowling and fielding for 5 days CA will have egg on there face.

  • RVC-38 on October 17, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    @CricHorizon... if having Watson in Australia preparing to take on the worlds best test team instead of playing back yard cricket equals clarke has something against Watson, well then so do I

  • ifrakurshid on October 16, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    TODAY SYDENY SIXER WON THE MATCH BY IN BORN ATTACKING CRICKET BOTH IN BOWLINGAND BATTING FOR WHATSON ITS WAS A ROUTINE PRATICE WHICH SHOULD KEEP HIM IN SHAPE WITHOUT BURN OUT PROBLEM OR MAJOR PHYSICAL UN-FITNEES THE ONLY THING IS AVOID USING HIM IN FIELDING IN DEEP POSITIN SLIP OR POINT/GULLIES THE WORLD IS WATCHING SYDENY SIXEX WILL NEED HIM IN LAST GROUPS STRUGGLE WITHDRAWING HIM WILL OFF SET THE TEAM THIS VERSION AND 50/50 IS HIS LONGTERM INTREST FOR TEST AUSSIES HAVE LOT OF CHOICES MORE THEN AUSTRILA THE PUNTERS HAVE STAKE IN HIM?

  • crindex on October 16, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    CA wants to regain its no. 1 test rank. Its pulling in all resources it can. Good approach. But Watson or no Watson, SA team will out match the Aussies any day.

  • Nish_US on October 16, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    Height of Ridicule

    Sehwag fit for full Champions League

    A BCCI official said the board had nothing to do with the decision to play Sehwag: "The BCCI has nothing to do with it. It is a franchise tournament and it is for them to take a call."

    Why ---

    His fitness has been suspect over the past year: after the 2011 World Cup he delayed a shoulder surgery, playing the IPL and subsequently missed India's tour of the West Indies and half of the Test series in England. Earlier this year, towards the end of the Australia tour, he had back spasms that forced the selectors to rest him for the Asia Cup

  • Nish_US on October 16, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    If a player can prove over a period of time - that he can play these club games and still be 100% fit for the country... .then YAH he can play whatever and where ever he wants...

    But when it comes to Injury prone guys like Watson, Shehwag, Zaheer, Malinga... you cannot let them play for Clubs and hurt the Nation....

  • Nish_US on October 16, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Kudos to CA... Now look at BCCI statement regarding Shehwag - "The decision to play Shehwag in CLT20 is a franchise decision... BCCI has nothing to do with it"..

    Then when he comes back from CLT20 injured and sits out during the upcoming tests against Eng or worse plays injured....whose responsibility is that?

  • ozwriter on October 16, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    @ jono makim. totally agree mate. sounds like clarke has something against watson. maybe coz watson has won more awards, has won the AB medal twice, is 'worth' more in the T20 auctions, player of the T20 tournament etc...

  • ozwriter on October 16, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    good call RandyOz. Cowan needs to be shown the door. talking like a pro with an avg of 35.

  • ExtremeSpeed on October 18, 2012, 15:50 GMT

    I just want to say to the amount of people that's predicting an easy series win over Australia that Ricky Ponting is still playing.

  • anshu.s on October 18, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    What a joke CA trying to undermine there own tournament(stakeholders) and there own domestic team,big bash by withdrawing Watson,here was Watto bowling 4 overs without fuss and carting bowlers around but no viola CA reinforce there love fo test cricket.God forbid if Watson breaks down bowling and fielding for 5 days CA will have egg on there face.

  • RVC-38 on October 17, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    @CricHorizon... if having Watson in Australia preparing to take on the worlds best test team instead of playing back yard cricket equals clarke has something against Watson, well then so do I

  • ifrakurshid on October 16, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    TODAY SYDENY SIXER WON THE MATCH BY IN BORN ATTACKING CRICKET BOTH IN BOWLINGAND BATTING FOR WHATSON ITS WAS A ROUTINE PRATICE WHICH SHOULD KEEP HIM IN SHAPE WITHOUT BURN OUT PROBLEM OR MAJOR PHYSICAL UN-FITNEES THE ONLY THING IS AVOID USING HIM IN FIELDING IN DEEP POSITIN SLIP OR POINT/GULLIES THE WORLD IS WATCHING SYDENY SIXEX WILL NEED HIM IN LAST GROUPS STRUGGLE WITHDRAWING HIM WILL OFF SET THE TEAM THIS VERSION AND 50/50 IS HIS LONGTERM INTREST FOR TEST AUSSIES HAVE LOT OF CHOICES MORE THEN AUSTRILA THE PUNTERS HAVE STAKE IN HIM?

  • crindex on October 16, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    CA wants to regain its no. 1 test rank. Its pulling in all resources it can. Good approach. But Watson or no Watson, SA team will out match the Aussies any day.

  • Nish_US on October 16, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    Height of Ridicule

    Sehwag fit for full Champions League

    A BCCI official said the board had nothing to do with the decision to play Sehwag: "The BCCI has nothing to do with it. It is a franchise tournament and it is for them to take a call."

    Why ---

    His fitness has been suspect over the past year: after the 2011 World Cup he delayed a shoulder surgery, playing the IPL and subsequently missed India's tour of the West Indies and half of the Test series in England. Earlier this year, towards the end of the Australia tour, he had back spasms that forced the selectors to rest him for the Asia Cup

  • Nish_US on October 16, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    If a player can prove over a period of time - that he can play these club games and still be 100% fit for the country... .then YAH he can play whatever and where ever he wants...

    But when it comes to Injury prone guys like Watson, Shehwag, Zaheer, Malinga... you cannot let them play for Clubs and hurt the Nation....

  • Nish_US on October 16, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Kudos to CA... Now look at BCCI statement regarding Shehwag - "The decision to play Shehwag in CLT20 is a franchise decision... BCCI has nothing to do with it"..

    Then when he comes back from CLT20 injured and sits out during the upcoming tests against Eng or worse plays injured....whose responsibility is that?

  • ozwriter on October 16, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    @ jono makim. totally agree mate. sounds like clarke has something against watson. maybe coz watson has won more awards, has won the AB medal twice, is 'worth' more in the T20 auctions, player of the T20 tournament etc...

  • ozwriter on October 16, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    good call RandyOz. Cowan needs to be shown the door. talking like a pro with an avg of 35.

  • Sinhaya on October 16, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    @Trapper439, thanks a lot. But in case you see any anger by me it could be due to what RandyOZ or what someone like him says. Yes you are spot on right in saying that how our bowlers attack the Australian batting lineup is what will decide the test series. Remember Aussie batsmen will face a testing SA pace attack shortly and whoever the Aussie batter who will end up short of runs will be eager to exploit the Lankan bowling attack to get back into form. We must be extremely cautious about that. DRS will be there so no way will any umpiring howler wreck our hopes. Will selectors play Nathan Lyon looking at his latest domestic stats? Remember Lyon's test bowling figures have a big boost thanks to playing at the Galle dust bowl last year. Selectors should keep the possibility of Hauritz or Krejza open instead of Lyon.

  • ScottStevo on October 16, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    @ RedNWhiteArmy, With an average of 48 against England and the swinging ball, it pretty much dispells any myths you speak of about a lack of technique. The only thing Watson was lacking with the bat in that series was the mental strength to continue after easily seeing off the new ball and making his 50...

    What's more humourous is that your analysis of the player was so poor you couldn't even be bothered to check the website you're on to see the stats.

    Not that stats tell the whole picture, but the '09 series is remarkable, in that, looking at the stats it's hard to believe England actually won that series. I suppose it all comes down to the luck of a rained out session in Cardiff...

  • Mervo on October 16, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    RednWhiteArmy I see the "England" team is not so good against the swinging ball. Lost against SA, white wash against Pakistan ... Still who is good against the swinging ball. Just as well Watson bowls swing so well ...

  • SuperSharky on October 16, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    I love cricket. That's why my favorite pastime is following Test Cricket & ODI's. But from where I'm around, there is enough time left for the odd entertainment. And then some of us like to be entertained by 'going to the beach', or 'experience a music concert' or 'watch cheerleaders dancing at a T20 match'. If this is not your type of thing, then look away. If you don't like Champions League Cricket, or any T20's or cheerleader girls, then don't watch and go and do something else. I'm not here for wishing that your entertainment must be banned or fly away. There will still be cricket to watch after this, don't panic. Australia & South Africa will start a Test Series very soon. Then we can all go and see proper cricket again. But in the mean-time, go and find something positive to stimulate your mind.

  • on October 16, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    What exactly is Clarke trying to say to Watson here? Pretty poor form from him once again I reckon, he seems to have something against Watto playing anything outside international and state cricket. Its certainly not the first time he's gone on about Watson having to be fully prepared and concentrated for his Australian duties. I find this completely unwarrented, he's no Andrew Symonds and seems to always be putting in one hundred percent.

  • RednWhiteArmy on October 16, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    This guys useless against a swinging ball, hasnt got the technique of an opener, showing how bad australias plight is. He never does anything in england...over rated & injury prone

  • Vincent49 on October 16, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Ban 20/20! Do us all a favor. Then we would need a promise that it would never rear it's ever so ugly head again. ODI and test cricket forever !

  • Trapper439 on October 16, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    Good to see that CA is seeing this summers Tests as a priority. @Sinhaya: Good comments mate. Cricinfo needs more unbiased commenters like yourself. Kudos to you. It'll be a pleasure to host your Sri Lankan side again. I feel that the battle between the Sri Lankan bowling attack and the Australian batting lineup is where the series will be decided. Hopefully we'll see some very good cricket, and may the best/most deserving team win.

  • Sinhaya on October 16, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    @Meety, yes your point is interesting too. Well it is daunting to drag on the game beyond day 4, but if we can then great. I suppose the greenishness of the pitch will die off as the game goes on and by day 4 and 5, spinners should be helpful. But I doubt if spinners can be helpful in Hobart and Melbourne? May be Sydney possibly. I recall you saying that spinners never help win more than one test match in a series in Australia and that is true. Pace bowling is the key to success in Australia. I doubt MJ's ability in Australia. Just look at his poor away record. I feel Chandimal will do well because he has scored well in England, SA and Australia in the CB Series. We should play Eranga, Pradeep, Angelo, Thisara and Herath in the test matches. I think Aussie bowlers for tests should be Harris, Hilfenhaus, Starc and Cummins. Harris will be our biggest obstacle in tests. Siddle is over rated.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on October 16, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    I hope Ozzie open the batting with Watson, then we can get him out early wIth the new ball- by far oz best inform batsman.

  • Meety on October 16, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    @John McLean - are you for real? Clarke jeoulous of Watto's coin?

  • anver777 on October 16, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    Watson is the best match winner for Sydney Sixers !!!!!! but as quoted if he plays another 2 games & SS wins then they will qualify for semis, thereafter only they will miss him badly !!!!

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on October 16, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    why then should watson play even the next 2 matches in the cl? if he goes home now, he will get an extended and well deserved break and it will give sydney a chance to experiment with his subsequent replacement

  • MH19 on October 16, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    Its a good move by CA to prepare Watson for the real test rather than 20/20 cowboy game.Beeing a Sri Lankan I look forward to see how the Sri Lankans will be tested in Australia during this summer and will be a acid test for sure. I look forward to MCG boxing day test and this is the second time ever Sri Lanka has been given a chance by CA.So Sri Lankan authorities now should prepare the team for this tour rather than 20/20 and call all the players from South Africa to play club cricket and then take the upcoming tour by NZ as the preperation grounds.Unfortunately Capatain is also part of the 20/20 at the moment.

  • Meety on October 16, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    @Sinhaya on (October 16 2012, 01:16 AM GMT) - interesting thoughts, as I would of imagined the tactic would of been hang in & make the game go into the 4th & 5th day & utilise your spinners. Whereas a Green Top like what Hobart was, I would of thought would of created more problems for your batsmen - bearing in mind I rate Sanga & MJ in the highest regard.

  • Nightwing32 on October 16, 2012, 3:42 GMT

    Good idea but I would think that Patto has to be playing in the first test, that's why Starc isn't pulled out. Would like to see Warner back as well. Haddin is a bit iffy because we don't know if Wade will be playing over him. But Tests are the main thing in cricket.

  • on October 16, 2012, 2:08 GMT

    Sounds like sour grapes to me,if you are able to call a player home,no problem just pay him for his contract.Clark is jealous watson is making more money than him and lots of accolades, how can anyone make those disparaging remarks about someone coming off such a t20 tournament.Cricket is cricket,maybe SA should call home Kallis et.al

  • Sinhaya on October 16, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    @Meety, mate thanks a lot for your comments. I respect your comments a lot and hope to engage in warm discussions with you in the coming weeks and months. Well but Hobart is where I feel our swing bowlers like Angelo and Thisara will have hope. Fact is that we will have more fans cheering for us on Boxing Day than they will ever witness in a test match at home. I feel Sanga, Chandimal and Angelo wil do well in batting, but our bowling is my worry for tests (not ODIs). We really have to justify giving us two marquee test matches by Cricket Australia. I have to thank Cricket Australia for inviting us for 4 summers of cricket in 6 years (2007-08 CB Series, 2010-11 Bilateral ODIs, 2011-12 CB Series and 2012-13 full tour). Fact is that Aussie pitches are lively and unlikely to last for 5 days with most games having been finished lately on day 4. So important for us to play positive cricket. We under estimated your team last year when they came to our shores and we were caught off guard!

  • landl47 on October 16, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    Hmmmm- what if Watson pulled a KP and said that if he couldn't play the full champions league he was going to retire from ODIs? Interesting thought. I'm pleased that Australia are putting test cricket first, but I have my doubts as to whether anything will keep Watson fit through a full Summer of tests. Remember after missing all last Summer he also broke down in England in the ODI series. I really doubt that he can handle a full workload as an all-rounder, and if he can't then he's a marginal test cricketer with either bat or ball. It's doing both that makes him worth his place. On another topic, I guess the fact that Cummins has not been recalled makes it clear that he won't start the test series and may only get one game. I can't imagine him being allowed to play the full champions league and then play all three tests.

  • tazza14 on October 16, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    This is a clear indication that the cricketing world, and the different boards do not take the CLT20 seriously...No more to say

  • popcorn on October 16, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    This is an excellent decision. In fact, ALL the Aussie Test plasyers participating in the Champions League should be recalled - Mike Hussey,Brad Haddin,Starc,Cummins,Hilfenhaus.

    I know how badly I felt when we lost to India because of Dougie Bollinger's foolishness to overplay himself in the Champions League,,become unfit, and not to bowl in the LAST Session,when he was bowling excellently before Lunch - we lost that Test NEEDLESSLY.

  • TellasisPatel on October 16, 2012, 0:17 GMT

    What does Watson want to do? Does he want to continue playing in CL till it is over, or go home, rest and prepare for the test matches? Without that clarification, it seems that both CA and Michael Clarke are deceiving Watson and public. According to Michael Clarke, it is not certain that Watson will be picked for the test matches. Watson is expected to prove that he will perform without playing more games. This situation is hilarious, but unfortunately hurts the current best Australian alrounder. This episode reminds us of West Indies Board / Gayle situation. Thank you.

  • Timmuh on October 16, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    This really should have been done with all players on CA central contracts, and even the states really should have pulled players with state contracts. Once the first class season is underway, there should not be one required player at a pointless tournament ike the champions league. The problem is, though, how many players would then retire from meaningful cricket to chase the cash in the joke game.

  • JustIPL on October 15, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    I think if it was real champions league CA would not have taken Watson back.

  • Meety on October 15, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    @ Sinhaya on (October 15 2012, 14:41 PM GMT) - whilst at times Hobart's Test strips can look a lot like NZ pitches, (the 2nd Test was rolled gold NZ), the pitch Sanga got his runs on, was more asiatic. I wouldn't think SL will want a repeat of the Green Monster form the 2nd Test last year. Anyways - it will be interesting to see how your boys perform on the biggest day of Test cricket on the calendar - Boxing Day at the MCG!

  • MinusZero on October 15, 2012, 22:52 GMT

    He should play the ODI and T20 only. Lets face it, his test record is not that great. Particularly for a top order bat, he is waaaayyyy off the pace of true international batsmen.

  • Vincent49 on October 15, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    I found cricket Australia's decision to withdraw Watson very satisfying. 20/20 is only about making money. Test cricket is the ultimate where you represent your country. Infact I believe all CA contracted players should be exempt for selection in 20/20. Well done CA, hope to see more of this! :-D

  • RandyOZ on October 15, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    Correct call by CA. If only they got the selections right and stopped picking Cowan!

  • on October 15, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    Shane Watson should retire from Test cricket...NOT because he is not a great player but rather he IS THE BEST BATSMAN AND BOWLER Australia have and to be honest Cricket Australia don't give a damn if in 3 yrs time Shane Watson can play any form of cricket. He is given TOOOOO much of a workload in TEST cricket ESPECIALLY since Clarke became captain. REMEMBER where is ANDREW FLINTOFF anybody heard of him since he WAS FORCED to retire due to injury SHANE WATSON is next in line to follow if he continues to be played the way he is played.

  • on October 15, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    Very very good move by CA. I fully support CA decision. But it is is still late. They should have pulled him before the start of CLT20. What happens If he get injured in these forthcoming two matches.Like before. Cant play anything for the test side. Still it is too late to pull him after two CLT20. Any way good luck for Watson and CA.

  • S.Jagernath on October 15, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    Glad to see a sensible cricket board with the correct view on the importance of test cricket.Shane Watson has to be managed carefully,he isn't that young anymore & getting to watch his test brilliance is thrilling.Wish the BCCI would do the same with Sachin Tendulkar,as T20 cricket will only exacerbate his struggles.

  • Mervo on October 15, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    Absolutely CA should withdraw Watson from this. They have a long term stake in him. Cricket history is recorded and the long history of Test and First Class cricket is what counts when it is all done. Not the silly slog and giggle T20, that is forgotten the next day. Let the B grade players do that and let's watch the A graders in Tests!

  • on October 15, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    CA is jealous of watson. T20 is there to stay and test cricket should be converted as senior citizens cricket. Test cricket should be cancelled altogather. Because of test cricket we are not able to develop cricket in other countries. We dont want clarke's/grame smith's/trots who will play for 5days.

  • funkyandy on October 15, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Good move - as "test cricket is the best cricket" (Marlon Samuels!), But poor timing of the announcement - the Aussie selectors have undermined the Sixers plans for this T20 Champions League. I suppose the real culprit is Watson - he shouldn't be so damned good!!

  • maddy20 on October 15, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    A good decision . It will not save them froma drubbing though. This is no aging Indian team. SA's pace attack is the best it the business and I predict they will win by atleast a 2-1 margin.

  • Chris_P on October 15, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    @Meety. I'm a sixers fan but this is a positive step in the right direction. Why play around in the supporting meaningless ganmes when the important games are ahead. Watson has been in the thick of action for a while & needed to recharge & focus for the job ahead. @satish619chandar . Better go look at the scores, none of the test players played during the test series, some before. case in point, Marsh 99no for the WA then his run of test "scores" vs India. Great preparation!

  • crindex on October 15, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Watson is not indispensable anymore . CA shows to BCCI and other cricket boards that its very important that national team gets higher priority than club cricket. Good move by CA !

  • hhillbumper on October 15, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Bet he gets injured in the next two weeks. Can't stand the pace of real test cricket but 20 20 suits him.

  • Alexk400 on October 15, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    Awful decision by CA. Not good for watson for sure

  • grizzle on October 15, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    Cpt.Meanster: Yes, a name just like the T20 stars of yore... Joginder Sharma, Sreesanth, Paul Valthaty, Ravindra Jadeja, Saurabh Tiwary etc. Just what Watson would want.

  • Valavan on October 15, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    @Cpt., sit and watch your pointless games, CA knows what is best for their players. Dont troll unnecessarily.cricinfo please publish.

  • on October 15, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    Nice move by CA. Other boards should take this as an example and follow them. So that they can save their cricketers from t20 overdose. Nowadays we have a big batch of players from all over the world who manage to play all the t20 tournaments and when its time for national duty, they get injured.

    I think such decisions by the boards will put an end to it!!

  • on October 15, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    Good decision by the professional cricketing board, i,e ca , what matters most is test cricket , and not this circus in the name clt20, the great team has taken a great decision , only one form of cricket is prominent i,e test ckt .

  • Cpt.Meanster on October 15, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    Boring test cricket takes another victim ! Come on CA, let Watson enjoy playing the BEST format. Looks like Pup isn't in favour of Watto making more name for himself.

  • kingcobra85 on October 15, 2012, 14:52 GMT

    Dont let him play in the big bash league early next year if you can ?

  • Sinhaya on October 15, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    @jonesy2, well you may predict 2-1 Australia against SA but I think that this will be a series of low scores (300 to 350) due to excellent pace bowling attacks of both sides. My main worry in the Aussie batting lineup is Ponting. Rest are stable. Diplomatically asking you as I am a Sri Lankan. Sri Lanka's best chances against the Aussies in tests will be in Hobart right? Cos conditions there are like NZ and England favoring our swing bowlers like Angelo and Thisara. You may recall the howler Sangakkara got last time he came when scoring 192. When we Lankans come to your shores, tests will be the toughest but dont forget that NZ upset you all in Hobart and that we won the Boxing Day test in SA last year, so we have all to play for. We should do well in ODIs as we have won 6 out of the last 10 ODIs we played against Aussies in Australia.

  • wiseshah on October 15, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    If watson is taken back, why not others like hussey, warner, bollinger, hilfenhaus, cummins, starc, johnson,

  • on October 15, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    CSK would have won match if there was no Watson ... too late CA

  • on October 15, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    @rickyvoncanterbury @RyanSmith - I'd agree with you, but when I posted the comment the title of the piece was concerning burnout - they have changed it since!

  • jonesy2 on October 15, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    @RyanSmith -- you hit the nail on the hit it is more about mental application and task orientation than anything else which is why warner and hussey should come back with watto. the bowlers can stay and it sounds like they are doing good work with de winter anyway which could be a blessing in disguise because if they were all at home they would be with their states not de winter. @thebarmyarmy -- as much as i would love to see SA get whitewashed i dont think they will i think though if the aussies get off to a great start and win at the gabba they could nill the saffas or maybe lose just one. but my tip so far is aus 2-1 or 2-0. @Pablo123 -- if watson if twice as good as the best batsman in the world then he is on another planet, your words not mine

  • PhaniBhaskar24 on October 15, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    A decision from which team india should learn from. CA is guarding their most valuable player, keeping in interest " THE TEAM & INDIVIDUAL". Like wise india should have guarded Gambhir, Dhoni...from being fatigue of game. We have important England, Aus test matches at hand & we can't afford to Play on important Players fitness...Good Move CA

  • Sudhir65 on October 15, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    This is really a bad decision by CA in middle of the tournament. This wil upset Sydney's team balance. Players should be able to control their destiny. BCCI is the worst offender when it does not let Indians play in different T20 leagues around the world- where they would gain very valuable experience playing on bouncy pitches. Please let go and do not try to control others. Live and Let Live.

  • on October 15, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    clt20 is not a Champions league its name is ipl 2. Where 4 teams of ipl are playing and there is no merit in it where champion teams are playing qualifying round. First of all why there is qualifying round if so then it should be played between runners up teams.

  • on October 15, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    Clarke is jealous of Watson success in 20-20 format

  • on October 15, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    CLT20 a convenient distraction and the death of all things purely cricket.

  • shyamsunder1045 on October 15, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    no ca is right coz watto is prone to injuries....................also bring back punter he is stiil good for odis

  • kentjones on October 15, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Ca has taken its stance to protect its best player. WICB please take note!

  • NIT2222 on October 15, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Very good decision by australia cricket board.... they should call back hussey starc warner nw.... and start prepare for test match.... which is more important than this cl....

  • on October 15, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    The ICC should have ONE T 20 league for Test Playing Nations, National Teams to play only.. instead of the T20 World Cup, and have that time free in a calender Year. (LIke for 2 months). All other private or National leagues should NOT be encourged by ICC, Coz one day they willl destory ICC and Competitive Cricket as a whole. A lot of revenue will be generated by this concept, if ICC is worried about money only.

  • PFEL on October 15, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    No quick bowlers ever bowl "30 overs a day" pup

  • on October 15, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    I wonder if they will call Warner back or will the money that the IPL team DD offers be too much.

  • ozwriter on October 15, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    i get the fitness grounds but to say 'he needs to perform' to keep his place. as if! thats ridiculous. he is by far the most valuable asset in australian cricket, he was winner of the Allan border medal 2009 2010 and 2nd in 2011.

  • bobagorof on October 15, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    No doubt Australia will be looking for Watson to bat at 3, as he did in the West Indies. However, Watson is primarily a No. 4 batsman cum opener, and should bat a 4 (leaving the current opening partnership to continue). So who to play at 3? Well, Australia had a successful No 3 for years, before dropping him down the order to allow for the transition to a new batsman (Marsh, at the time). With no new batsmen in the side at present, there's little reason not to move him back to 3.

  • Paul-in-Finland on October 15, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    Sorry , yes you right : IPL IS THE GREATEST, BCCI is the best Board & India are the best team ever to bowl / hit or catch a ball. How silly of me, I should have known better. I have just forgotten which formate they are currently No. 1 in...

  • on October 15, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    I think if Watson was playing international cricket as only a batsman then there wouldn't be the fuss.Watson is 31 and if he is going to bowl (and Australia need him to balance the attack) then he probably has 3 years left with careful management. If he plays without management he'll probably fall to bits in months. In my view he is also Australia's best batsman in all forms of the game.

    Agree with Paul in Finland, I don't think the IPL teams are much good outside India and without the 4 overseas they'd be pretty weak. Nobody else get's this benefit in the CLT20 and yet they still struggle.

  • stormy16 on October 15, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    I think this is a fair call - this guy has serious injury clouds and hasnt played a test for a long time. I wonder what would have happened if he played for an IPL team - could CA order him back? Surely not given he is being paid by the IPL team to play for them! Wonder if Aus wants to consider not bowling Watson in tests? I know it sounds like a crime but this guy is so injury prone its worth considering only bowling him in T20 and one dayers.

  • Meety on October 15, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (October 15 2012, 08:45 AM GMT) - I think you answered yourself in the last sentence! @RyanSmith on (October 15 2012, 09:52 AM GMT) - well said, I think JBradshaw has an inflated sense of his cricketing skills! LOL! @Ali-Abbas on (October 15 2012, 10:51 AM GMT) - I'd like to think he was joking, but something (let's call it cricinfo experience), tells me he is completely serious!!!!

  • No_1_again on October 15, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    @Rajesh_india_1990 & baghels.a, IMO with your population you should do wholesale in all forms of cricket but look at what are you doing can't even shine in one sport. We are proud of our sports we shine in all sports mate. At-least look at China and learn what can you do with that population.

  • thebarmyarmy on October 15, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    I cant see anything else than a whitewash to SA in this series.

  • ladycricfan on October 15, 2012, 10:58 GMT

    Those who are calling CLT20 tournament as rubbish and crap have to remember that it is a club tournament organised by few boards with lots of unknown domestic players participating and earning a living. So you can't expect it to be world class. There are enough people watching it (for the fun /entertainment /time pass or for whatever reason) for the prize money to be paid in millions. If international players chose to participate it is their choice. If boards want to rest some players good on them as test cricket is the pinnacle of the game.

  • S-A-M-1994 on October 15, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    @rajesh india 1990,i like ya jokes lolz.

  • omairhr on October 15, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    What is CLT20? Sounds familiar.

  • on October 15, 2012, 10:42 GMT

    This is WATSON turn to hit the spot-light . Day after day we are seeing TOP players plaster all over the news . Let's hope this don't take a turn for the worst .

  • CricketMaan on October 15, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    Haha..so is CA expecting CSK and MI anyway not to make it to final and thus Huss, Hilfy, Mitch will be spared from workload :).. Maybe Pat is allowed to play coz the lineup is Siddle, Hilfy, Starc, Pattinson so Cummins can keep playing short formats.

  • Hammond on October 15, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Careful of Watson, he is a paper hat as far as injuries go.

  • masoodali150 on October 15, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Good Decision, great all rounder need to be fit against world's top team.

  • Selassie-I on October 15, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    He's Australia's best player, they are doing the right thing here. They stand little/no chance without him.

  • RyanSmith on October 15, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    @Jeremy Bradshaw. This is not simply about burnout. It is about the fact that our best players will be going into an important test series having played zero long form cricket. Batting in a first class match is not the same as a 20 over slogfest. Watson already has concentration issues as it is, which leads to him always getting out at a certain point in his innings as he hasn't mastered concentrating for long periods. His technique stands up fine for test cricket. The reason he has only made 2 test centuries is because he spends all his time playing short form cricket and doesn't get the practice he needs at just batting and batting and batting to improve his ability to focus for longer. Playing 100 T20 games is not go to do anything in terms of him being ready for the tests this summer. He needs to be playing more first-class cricket and working on specific skills for first-class cricket!

  • Uppercut07 on October 15, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    ah finally a cricket board who treat 'domestic cricket' as domestic cricket, and not like a champions league for name sake :D

  • hnlns on October 15, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    I doubt he will ever be required to bowl 20-25 overs in a day in a test match. If he has to do that, then the frontline quickies would have been either sub par or physically unfit due to injury. Batting-wise, he will be an asset no doubt, having performed very well as an opener. How much an injury will affect his batting, if that were to happen in CLT20, is something they will have to ponder about since he can be a star all-round performer for his CLT20 team.

  • baghels.a on October 15, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    @Paul -in-Finland don't rejoice too much IPL teams can bounce back !! BTW we won 50 over WC in 2011 and were no.1 team in tests not long back ago, anyways we have won a t20 WC unlike you blokes. You Anglo-Saxons have such double standards, you lap up the EPL as this best football league but don't say a word when England dosen't win anything in international tournaments, you love your AFL, NRL but have a problem with club cricket .... All you old timers out there don't be resistant to change club cricket is coming up big time to replace meaningless bi-lateral series.CA it's one thing to bully sixers but try wangling a player out of IPL team !!!

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on October 15, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    @paul_in_finland i think you are an australian...we are the inaugural t20 champions..atleast we have every cup to show t20,2 times Wc,champions trophy,no.1 in tests..whereas australia just participated like afghanistan,zimbabwe,bangladesh in t20wc's and not even get a tea cup in t20's lol..and you are talking about ipl teams..well last time MUMBAI won CL(surely you will say home advantage),another one won by CHENNAI in southafrica(sorry mate there is no more home advantage to argue )...You said B team is going to beat ipl teams...ya it may happen or may not happen..since your name is PAUL you dont think you are the PAUL OCTOPUS...lol get your facts right or else dont comment..please publish..

  • Sudhir65 on October 15, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    What is Watto's reaction? I think it is good for IPL teams. Henriques is good but he is no Shane Watson.

    Plus these cricketers make very good money and T20 really does not burn you out. I would rather see Indians play and make money and have fun.

  • on October 15, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Why din't they call him a day early ? CSK would have won without him :(

  • RaadQ on October 15, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    I want to see Australia with their most talented outfit, so that when they don't win the series, they don't have any excuses. But Watson playing in the CLT20 isn't going to make a difference to their chances, because the South Africans are playing in the CLT20 as well, and Kallis, who is much more valuable, has already been injured. So one way or another, let's hope for an amazing test series without the excuses cricket Australia has been making recently.

  • satish619chandar on October 15, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    The same Cricket Australia who is now putting brakes on CLT20 participation allowed their test players to participate in Big Bash in between of a test series last year. Why double standards? Better to keep your priorities right all the times.

  • bumsonseats on October 15, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    its a pity more boards were not of the same opinion. they should realize test cricket is the real deal not micky mouse T20s competitions

  • on October 15, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    watto is having class even in t20s ....see his batting there are always textbook shots ...no scooping.. paddling...reverse sweeps...others t20 shots...salute to such a great cricketer

  • Prabs429 on October 15, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    Thanks cricket australia for the great decision I want to see him fresh in the test cricket rather than playing in rubbish tournaments.i think this is a lesson for sachin .he should play first class matches why he is playing clt20.

  • on October 15, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    @ Paul-in-Finland - IPL crap teams ? In 2010, CSK won the same tournament on Fast and BOUNCY pitches of SA where M. Vijay and Ashwin were the highest run-getter and Wicket-taker resp.. We all know, IPL has had bad effects on players especially Indian as it's quite a LONG tournament, but if you reduce the no. of matches or the teams, it would be good for everyone. I blame BCCI for it.

  • SamAsh07 on October 15, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    IPL teams are nothing without the overseas players. Lol. True story always hurts. *not directed at Watson, since he isn't even in an IPL team*

  • CricketMaan on October 15, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    I wonder if Clarke would have pulled out of Pune Warriors if they had qualified for CLT20, guess Clarke picked the right team in IPl knowing that they will never qualify for CLT20..lol

  • on October 15, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    Well, Watson is better seen in International cricket!!

  • beggars on October 15, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    Great decision by cricket Australia.Watson is a treat to watch when in full flow.I presume he is going to play a innings of his career in South Africa coz he is in supreme touch at the moment...

  • on October 15, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    grt news for Australian cricket, would be great if Ashwin and Ojha ,our main spinners are called back to prepare for England tests. Good that RCB didn't qualify our best batsman Kohli has enough time to prepare for the important tests.....Hats off to Cricket Australia

  • on October 15, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Aussies also lost the test match against new zealand without watson so yes they do need him

  • grizzle on October 15, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Great to see that Cricket Australia still cares about Test cricket! BCCI, get a clue!

  • jmcilhinney on October 15, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    @Dashgar on (October 15 2012, 08:18 AM GMT), I'm wondering whether Watson's seeming lack of robustness is the reason that he was singled out. Or maybe CA feel that he is less likely to be able to make the transition from short to long form quickly than the others. It does seem rather strange that CA and CSA are stakeholders in the CLT20 and yet they've both jeopardised there preparation for the upcoming Test series with this schedule. Either neither board is very smart or BCCI wanted the tournament played now and they get the final say.

  • RoJayao on October 15, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    It's criminal for the good of the Australian game that some of the test players and fringe players are away just before a long home summer playing this unloved, unwanted, disgraceful money grab of a tournament. And the old excuse about not restricting a players earning opportunities is such a load! I'm pretty sure those players on CA contracts aren't struggling for a buck! They'll be earning less when they get injured and can't play for Australia because of T20 excesses.

  • RVC-38 on October 15, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    @ Jeremy Bradshaw ...I think its more about losing technique rather than breath.

  • Paul-in-Finland on October 15, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    @ Dheeraj_Shetty : well maybe that is why India are " so great " in the T20 world cups ...excellent track record: oh so many finals hahaha - wake up and realise that IPL is great for international cricket , since the BCCI are losing , losing & losing matches...but winning dollars/rupees ! Well done India !

  • Pablo123 on October 15, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    I'm a saffer. We want to see Watson play in the tests, the Ausies must put out their best team, so I'm all for this 'management' of him. He is one of the best cricketers coming out of Aus. Clarke - put a cork in it, he's twice the player you are.

  • CricketMaan on October 15, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    Good decision. It also shows that only Aussies and Eng want to prioritize Test Cricket. While even SA have rested AB though Morne is still playing. At least 10 out of potential 15 from Indian XI that will take on Eng are involved in this CLT20, which is far from ideal esply considering the workload of Zak, Dhoni and Ashwin who could be vital against Eng. I dont mind Umesh playing as he will gain experience in SA conditions. But kudos to CA for doing the right thing. It shows where thier priorities are.

  • Meety on October 15, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    Good news. Though it would suck if you are a Sixers fan. Most of the Oz T20 franchises have to do without their stars anyways. Hopefully Watto will play 3 tests in a row v the Saffas. Only question is - @ #3 or opene, or #6r?

  • Paul-in-Finland on October 15, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    Mumbai lost, Chennai lost ....Kolkata also lost: IPL are crap teams , Watto - go have some rest, the " B teams" can still beat these useless IPL teams.

  • boredkumar on October 15, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    BCCI care to take a cue? although i doubt they ever will.

  • jonesy2 on October 15, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    good. order hussey and warner to get the hell back here aswell!

  • chilled_avenger on October 15, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    As an Indian fan,I'm glad he is sent home because I'd rather see Watto's magic in International cricket than some domestic tournament! Why risk his fitness over a meaningless tournament when a much important series is coming up against SA. A very good decision!

  • on October 15, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Ahmm Ahmm ! Good decision, I would say. Not sure, though, if Watson is in its favour. IPL, BBL, CLT20 happens ever year. No body seriously remembers who won, who lost, who performed, who failed in these tournaments - these tourneys are about Entertainment ! Test Cricket is The Real Cricket and it helps you Earn Respect ! BCCI should learn from it. Watson will have time even for the practice matches whereas when Indian players tour, they hardly get time to even practice before the main matches.

  • Dashgar on October 15, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Good. There is definitely an argument that all players who want to be considered for the first Test shouldn't have gone to this tournament at all. This is a fair compromise although I'd like to see Hussey, Hilfenhaus and Warner come home too.

  • jackthelad on October 15, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Does anyone actually care about this farrago? I fear this is one step too far in the relentless grind of 20-overs competitions - at least the World Cup had some slight point, this one doesn't. Killing the goose that lays the golden eggs springs to mind...

  • loveNpeace on October 15, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    very good decision by cricket Australia, your country should be the main priority and you should be fit and focus for country duties. to play test cricket you need to be in a good mind set , not like headless t20 format mentality .at the moment we seeing too many t20's .

  • on October 15, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    pfft - burnout playing T20s - max 4 overs and 60 balls per innings, with the emphasis on hitting boundaries rather than running - ridiculous. Even I can play a T20 with ease and I'm almost 50!

  • Dheeraj_Shetty on October 15, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Well in India its different, top players like Sachin, Dhoni and Zaheer rest themselves from International game but never for IPL or CLT20 games.

  • on October 15, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    watson u rocks just hit sixes ... no need of centuries

  • Sinhaya on October 15, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Well done CRICKET AUSTRALIA and I am short of words to commend this move. Phenomenal indeed as Watson needs rest rather than too much meaningless cricket before facing the South African pace battery. Considering his lost games due to niggling injuries, this will give him time to freshen up. If Watson continued his T20 world cup form in the CLT20, the probability of his form dropping during the test series only gets higher.

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  • Sinhaya on October 15, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Well done CRICKET AUSTRALIA and I am short of words to commend this move. Phenomenal indeed as Watson needs rest rather than too much meaningless cricket before facing the South African pace battery. Considering his lost games due to niggling injuries, this will give him time to freshen up. If Watson continued his T20 world cup form in the CLT20, the probability of his form dropping during the test series only gets higher.

  • on October 15, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    watson u rocks just hit sixes ... no need of centuries

  • Dheeraj_Shetty on October 15, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Well in India its different, top players like Sachin, Dhoni and Zaheer rest themselves from International game but never for IPL or CLT20 games.

  • on October 15, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    pfft - burnout playing T20s - max 4 overs and 60 balls per innings, with the emphasis on hitting boundaries rather than running - ridiculous. Even I can play a T20 with ease and I'm almost 50!

  • loveNpeace on October 15, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    very good decision by cricket Australia, your country should be the main priority and you should be fit and focus for country duties. to play test cricket you need to be in a good mind set , not like headless t20 format mentality .at the moment we seeing too many t20's .

  • jackthelad on October 15, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Does anyone actually care about this farrago? I fear this is one step too far in the relentless grind of 20-overs competitions - at least the World Cup had some slight point, this one doesn't. Killing the goose that lays the golden eggs springs to mind...

  • Dashgar on October 15, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Good. There is definitely an argument that all players who want to be considered for the first Test shouldn't have gone to this tournament at all. This is a fair compromise although I'd like to see Hussey, Hilfenhaus and Warner come home too.

  • on October 15, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    Ahmm Ahmm ! Good decision, I would say. Not sure, though, if Watson is in its favour. IPL, BBL, CLT20 happens ever year. No body seriously remembers who won, who lost, who performed, who failed in these tournaments - these tourneys are about Entertainment ! Test Cricket is The Real Cricket and it helps you Earn Respect ! BCCI should learn from it. Watson will have time even for the practice matches whereas when Indian players tour, they hardly get time to even practice before the main matches.

  • chilled_avenger on October 15, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    As an Indian fan,I'm glad he is sent home because I'd rather see Watto's magic in International cricket than some domestic tournament! Why risk his fitness over a meaningless tournament when a much important series is coming up against SA. A very good decision!

  • jonesy2 on October 15, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    good. order hussey and warner to get the hell back here aswell!