Shane Watson Announces IPL Retirement
Chennai Super Kings had their worst IPL season in 2020. Not only were they the first team to get knocked out, they finished at the 7th position, narrowly escaping the wooden spoon spot. Now CSK fans are shifting their focus to the IPL 2021 which is just 5-6 months from now. Major changes are expected in the side, and two of the main ones are Shane Watson won't be available, while MS Dhoni has cleared the air on this retirement from IPL.
The Australian all-rounder who has already retired from all forms of competitive cricket has said to the CSK management that he will be retiring from IPL too. While there have been no confirmation or official statement from Watto, as he's fondly called, himself, reports suggest that the retirement is indeed true.
Going by skipper MS Dhoni's statement of CSK will be rebuilding their core, this makes sense. Coach Stephen Fleming too admitted that lack of Indian top-orders hurt their campaign this season. Coupled with the fact that Watson is nearing 40, there isn't any room left for him in the team. His opener's place will likely be taken by Ruturaj Gaekwad who had a phenomenal 2020 season as he scored three back to back half-centuries in CSK's last three matches.
Talking to Twitter, former Australian player Tom Moody wrote,
"The curtain closes on a remarkable IPL career. Congratulations mate, you've done yourself proud and made every team you've played in so complete."
Shane Watson has been part of IPL since 2008 when he played for Rajasthan Royals and won the cup with them. He was also awarded as the "Man of the Tournament" award.
He then played couple of season -- 2016 and 2017 -- with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. His final years were with CSK as he featured in their 2018, 2019, and 2020 campaign. In 2018, his century in the final helped CSK beat SRH in the finals. In 2019 finals too, he almost won CSK another trophy as the yellow brigade fell short by 1 run.
While Shane Watson might not be available as a player, CSK fans would hope he serves in other roles like mentor or scout or cricket operations.
MS Dhoni To Play IPL 2021
As a sigh of relief for CSK and IPL fans alike, MS Dhoni has confirmed that he'll be playing the 2021 edition of IPL. Ever since the former Indian skipper started handing out jerseys to other players, fans started speculating that he might call it time. There was a possibility since he already took an abrupt retirement from International cricket earlier this year. Also his performance in 2020 was below average to say the least.
But putting all speculation to rest, MS clarified he is not done with IPL just yet. Talking at the post match presentation to Harsha Bhogle when he asked whether this is going to be his last game in yellow, he replied "Definitely Not".
CSK CEO also said in one of his interviews that he's optimistic about Dhoni's participation in 2021 edition.
So Thank you, Watto, and Come back Stronger, MS.