Watson injured ahead of World T20, out of 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."