Sydney Thunder’s captain Shane Watson has announced his retirement from Australia’s Big Bash League to spend more time with his family.
The former Australia allrounder played for Thunder for the last four years, leading them in the last three editions. He is the club’s highest run-scorer with 1014 runs.
“I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who has been involved with the Sydney Thunder over the last four seasons,” said Watson.
“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.
“I will most definitely miss 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.
“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.”
Paying tribute, Thunder’s coach Bond gave Watson an ‘open invite’ to join the side in some capacity during the tournament.
“I played against him a little bit and he was an outstanding player, so I was really looking forward to working with him,” Bond said.
“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.
“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 invite to have him join us during the season.”
Watson also plays for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League and Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. There is no confirmation yet on whether he will continue to play these tournaments.