Pakistan Super League 2016 February 14, 2016

Watson injured ahead of World T20, out of PSL

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Shane Watson was Islamabad United's leading run scorer at the time of his injury © PSL

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 run-scorer, 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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Uncapped on February 17, 2016, 23:31 GMT

    Injuries imo one of the reasons he didn't fulfill the potential many believe he had at test level... Rarely got a long sustained run at test level and the in and out fuels uncertainty and lack of belief. We'll miss him in the T20s.

  •   Aimon Almas on February 16, 2016, 10:43 GMT

    Watson, great player. Pray for his quick health. Insha Allah he will play soon for his National 11.

  • AidanFX on February 15, 2016, 4:17 GMT

    he should not be ahead in the pecking order of either Head or Lynn anyway. The lineup as it stands lacks flare and has too much of a "sameness" to it.

  • jehanzeb1 on February 14, 2016, 15:15 GMT

    Psl is producing great bowlers but unfortunately no world class bowler

  • CricActually on February 14, 2016, 13:46 GMT

    I will be amazed if he plays again in PSL. I hope this has nothing to do with big auction at IPL.

  • MurtazaMak on February 14, 2016, 13:01 GMT

    Thank you for being part of the PSL Shane! It's been terrific watching you! Wishing you a speedy recovery and hope you make it to the world t20.

  • Paul_Rampley on February 14, 2016, 11:04 GMT

    Will be a big loss for us if we lose Watson, if he is unfit then I would get khawaja to open with warner with smith coming in at 3, however I hope watto is fit and ready to go

  • bmk0009 on February 14, 2016, 10:54 GMT

    Insha Allah he will play WC get well soon watto

  • Shasha Delarankin on February 14, 2016, 8:29 GMT

    Good player and very destructive on his day. However, Injury prone and a risk for any side counting on him.

  • Muhandis on February 14, 2016, 8:00 GMT

    A wonderful guy, powerful, skillful and implements his strategy wisely. Very unfortunate for United, but first is first, get well soon Watson, would love watching you in the WT20.

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