Shane Watson announces retirement from Big Bash League

Melbourne: Former Australian player Shane Watson has announced his retirement from the Big Bash League (BBL) as he wants to spend more time with his family.

“I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who has been involved with the Sydney Thunder over the last four seasons,” quoted Watson as saying.

“I have so many amazing memories that I will savour forever with the one standout being our win in 2016. I want to especially thank Nick Cummins, Paddy Upton, Lee Germon and Shane Bond who made my experience with the club so enjoyable,” he added.

The 37-year-old played for Sydney Thunder in the BBL and was a part of the team for four years, captaining the side in the past three BBL seasons.

Watson has called time on his BBL career after finishing as the Sydney Thunder’s all-time leading run-scorer with 1014 runs, which includes a century scored at Brisbane against Brisbane Heat last season.

“I will most definitely miss the support that the club gets from the Thunder Nation. Their unwavering support through the ups and downs inspires everyone and I will cherish that support deeply,” Watson said.

“Finally, to my teammates, I have played with so many great people and cricketers at the club and I sincerely wish everyone the absolute best for the upcoming seasons,” he added.

Sydney Thunder’s coach Shane Bond also paid his tribute to Watson for a career which includes 307 appearances across all formats for Australia.

“He was great to work with, he’s the ultimate professional. He cared about the team and the players and was hugely respected in the dressing room. We’re really going to miss what he brings to the team and he will be a big loss,” quoted Bond as saying.

“For the young players at the club, he was very approachable, honest and you couldn’t ask for a better role model. We’d love to have him around in some capacity and there’s an open invitation to have him join us during the season,” he added.

Watson is currently playing for Chennai Super Kings in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League.

The player was awarded the Man of the Match in the team’s last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad after playing a knock of 96 runs off just 53 deliveries to ensure Chennai’s victory by six wickets.