Watson determined to grab his chance
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 8th February 2007
Four years after his first World Cup dream turned into a nightmare,
injury-plagued Australian allrounder Shane Watson knows he has to make
the most of his latest international recall.
Watson was identified as a promising talent early in his career, but
his time at the top level has been littered with frustrating and
untimely setbacks. He was selected in the squad for Australia's
victorious 2003 World Cup campaign but was ruled out by stress
fractures in his back.
After playing a key role in last year's Champions Trophy, batting at
the top of the order, Watson suffered yet another setback before the
Ashes and was ultimately ruled out of the entire series by a recurring
Having finally regained fitness, Watson has been recalled for the
tri-series finals against England to replace injured fellow Queensland
allrounder Andrew Symonds and he admitted he needed to take every
opportunity with the World Cup looming.
"I'm really confident in my game. I'm just really keen to get out there
and show what kind of contribution I can make to the Australian team,"
Watson said in Melbourne on Wednesday. "When I was ruled out of the
Ashes series, I knew the goal was to do everything I could to make sure
I was ready for the World Cup. I missed the World Cup four years ago
with my back injury, so I was making sure everything was right."
Watson admitted he pushed himself too hard in a bid to be fit for the
first Ashes Test, ultimately doing more harm than good.
"Hindsight's a great thing. If it did happen again I probably would
have rested for two weeks," he said. "It was one of those things that
there was a carrot dangling there, to try to be right for the first
Test, but in the end it costme a few months."
Ironically, it was Watson's back injury that allowed Symonds to gain
selection for the 2003 World Cup, in which he announced himself as a
"It's a sad irony of sport at times," Watson said. "For his sake, I got
injured, and he got an opportunity and did very well, and now it might
give me an opportunity. Fingers crossed his recovery will go very well
and he can play a part in the World Cup."
Having lost his opening spot to Matthew Hayden in the tri-series,
Watson said he was happy to bat wherever needed, although he admitted a
desire to return to the top of the order at some stage.
The best-of-three tri-series finals begin on Friday at the MCG.