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Injured Watson under World T20 cloud

14 February 2016

Allrounder leaves Pakistan Super League for Australia after suffering injury while bowling

Shane Watson's preparation for the upcoming World T20 has hit a hurdle, with the allrounder ruled out of the remainder of the Pakistan Super League with what is thought to be an abdominal injury.

Watson suffered the problem while bowling for his franchise, Islamabad United, during their seven wicket defeat to Peshawar Zalmi on Friday night in Sharjah.

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He posted a video on Twitter from the club's account, expressing his thanks to the supporters and praising the PSL.

"I've unfortunately made this video because I injured myself last night bowling, so disappointingly I'm going to have to head home back to Australia to get assessed with the medical people at Cricket Australia to try and get right for the Twenty20 World Cup," Watson said.

"Thanks very much to my franchise, Islamabad, I've had a hell of a lot of fun getting to know all the local players and playing in the PSL, which is a great tournament."

The 34-year-old's withdrawal is a blow for Islamabad – at the time of his injury, he was their leading run-scorer with 194 runs at 32.33, and his 11 sixes were the most in the tournament – but more significantly from an Australian standpoint, potentially a serious problem for Steve Smith's 15-man squad ahead of next month's World T20 in India.

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Watson has been in devastating form in the bat with T20, scoring back-to-back half-centuries for the Sydney Thunder en route to their maiden KFC Big Bash title before smashing a devastating 124 for Australia against India in the final match between the two sides on January 31.

For Islamabad, he had made telling contributions of 40 and 79 earlier this week before injury struck.

The big-hitting batsman has vast amounts of experience in India courtesy of his regular involvement in the Indian Premier League, and is likely set to feature in Australia's top three, while also offering a handy alternative with the ball.

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Watson added that he'd be looking to return to the club for the second edition of the PSL in 2017.

"Fingers crossed everything works out and I'll be able to play for Islamabad next year and a few more years after that as well," he said.

"Thanks so much for all your support, I've had a great time. We've got a lot of world-class players in our squad so I'm sure we'll finish the tournament off strongly, and I'm looking forward to seeing you all next year." 

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