After 20 seasons and 745 matches across all formats, Shane Watson has announced his retirement from professional cricket.
The 39-year-old confirmed his playing days are over in a short video from Dubai, where he has spent the past two months playing for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
"It all started out as a dream," Watson said on his YouTube channel T20 Stars. "As a young kid saying to my mum as I watched a Test match as a five year old, 'I want to play cricket for Australia'.
"Now as I officially announce my retirement from all cricket, I feel crazily lucky to have lived out my dream and then some.
"It really does feel like the right time knowing I played my last game of cricket ever for my beloved CSK who have been so incredibly good to me over the last three years.
"To think I'm finishing up my playing days as a 39-year-old after all of my injury setbacks along the way, I feel so ridiculously fortunate."
Watson leaves the game having played 59 Tests, 190 ODIs and 58 T20s for his country. He is a two-time Allan Border Medallist, a dual IPL MVP and former Australia captain in all formats.
However, for all his accomplishments on the field Watson was one of the most polarising figures during his international playing days, a misunderstood allrounder who was perhaps judged too harshly on his Test career without considering his feats in the white ball formats.
Born in the south-east Queensland town of Ipswich, just an hour west of Brisbane, Watson made his international debuted a raw allrounder in 2002 who could match it with the fastest bowlers in the country and had a batting technique straight from the coaching manual.
An electric start in one-day international cricket was curtailed by the first of a long list of injuries, ruling the youngster out of the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.
He returned to be a staple in Australia's limited-overs teams for the next dozen years, playing a supporting role in the 2007 World Cup win in the Caribbean before compiling back-to-back centuries in the 2009 Champions Trophy semi-final and final in South Africa.
In that same year Watson cemented his place in the Test team, replacing Phillip Hughes as opener in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston and he scored the first of his four Test hundreds against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the Boxing Day Test.
It started a golden run for Watson, who won consecutive Allan Border Medals as Australia's finest cricketer in 2010 and 2011, the 2012 World T20 player of the tournament, and in 2013 was appointed Australia's 44th Test captain on the disastrous Test tour of India, the same tour that saw him suspended, return to Australia for the birth of his first child and consider quitting the game at the highest level.
While his numbers gradually dwindled as he entered the twilight of his career, Watson was a key member of Australia's 2013-14 Ashes whitewash of England, and a year later was at the non-striker's end when Steve Smith hit the winning runs to secure the 2015 World Cup final at the MCG.
When he called time on his international career in 2016 following the T20 World Cup in India, Watson became the last relic of Australia's golden era to retire having played alongside the likes of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey and Adam Gilchrist.
He continued on to play all around the world as a T20 gun for hire and continued to put in match-winning performances in the IPL and Pakistan Super League.
His performance in the 2018 IPL final for CSK, where he smashed an unbeaten 117 from 57 balls with a hamstring injury, will go down in history as one of the greatest knocks in the lucrative T20 competition.
It is fitting he finishes his career in gold, albeit not Australian gold, but with Chennai playing T20 cricket, the format he dominated like few have.