Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has announced he will end his international career following the ICC World Twenty20.
The 34-year-old retired from Tests last year after Australia’s unsuccessful Ashes campaign in England but opted to continue playing in the limited-overs formats.
While he has not featured in the one-day team since September 2015, the big-hitting batsman and seamer has been involved in both of Australia’s opening matches of the World T20.
He is also likely to play in the must-win fixtures against Pakistan on Friday and India on Sunday as Australia seek to join New Zealand in the semi-finals from Group 2 of the Super 10 stage.
Watson, who still intends to compete in domestic T20 competitions, said on Cricket Australia’s official website: “It’s been over the last week that it’s really become clear that now really is the right time to retire from all international cricket.
Congrats @ShaneRWatson33 on your career. To bounce back after injury & criticism so many times shows how much you wanted to play for Aus
— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) March 24, 2016
“I’ve been playing with the thought for a few months now and I know now with the way the group is continuing to evolve, which is exciting to be able to see, with my young family as well, and seeing the potential of the international schedule is very hectic.
“And I just know it’s the right time to be able to right now clear my mind knowing that I’ve made the decision and be absolutely ready to go for these next two very important games.”
Watson added: “I really enjoyed my time being back in the Australian squad but, it is quite different. None of the other guys that I played with growing up are here any more.”
Watson was dogged by fitness problems for much of his career but still managed 59 Tests, 190 one-day internationals and currently sits on 56 T20 caps ahead of the Pakistan clash.
He was a World Cup-winner in 2007 and on home turf in 2015 and player of the tournament at the World T20 in 2012.
Against England he took part in five Ashes campaigns, losing four but helping win the 2013/14 series by a whitewash.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: “Shane should be proud of his contribution to Australian cricket.
“At his best, he was a devastating batsman and skilful swing and seam bowler who thrilled crowds the world over. And to his enormous credit he is the only Australian batsman to have scored centuries in all three forms of the game.
“As a senior member of the team he always showed his leadership capabilities by guiding and encouraging younger players.
“I am sure Australian cricket fans join us in wishing him well in his retirement from international cricket and look forward to him continuing to play in the Big Bash League with the Sydney Thunder.”