Shane Watson rebuffs Howard’s criticism

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    Shane Watson has returned serve at Cricket Australia high performance boss Pat Howard, saying the former rugby player doesn’t know him very well and hasn’t “been in and around cricket for very long”.

    Allrounder Watson returned to Australia on Tuesday night to be with his pregnant wife after he was one of four players suspended from the third Test in India for not completing a written task as requested by coach Mickey Arthur.

    Watson said he was shattered by the suspension, which was also handed out to fast bowlers James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson and batsman Usman Khawaja.

    “I got that extremely wrong, which cost me a Test match,” Watson told a large media contingent at Sydney Airport.

    But Watson intimated that Howard was in no position to suggest he was only “sometimes” a team player and that he had issues with captain Michael Clarke.

    “Just go round and ask every person that I’ve played cricket with and that will give you the best indication of whether I’m a team man or not,” Watson said.

    “Pat Howard doesn’t particularly know me very well. He’s obviously come from a rugby background and hasn’t been in and around cricket for very long, so I think the best people to ask are the people I’ve played cricket with.”

    Questioned about Howard’s comment that he had issues with Clarke, Watson said: “the way relationships work, there’s always ups and downs like there is in marriages and in friendships.”

    “I’ve been playing cricket against and with Michael Clarke since I was 12, so we’ve got a lot of history as people.

    “Obviously we are quite different people in certain ways and we’re very similar in a lot of ways as well.

    “Like you do in every relationship, it goes up and down and things are going really well at the moment with me and Michael.

    “With Pat Howard, he’s obviously just come on board the last year and a half and myself and Michael go a little bit further back than a year and a half.

    “I actually talked to Michael as I got off the flight as well, he obviously heard about the comments Pat made as well, so everything is ok.”

    Watson remained hopeful his Test career had not ended.

    While acknowledging he was wrong in not completing the review required from all the players, Watson felt the punishment of suspension had been overly harsh.

    “I obviously accept that I did the wrong thing with what I did, but I will always find it very hard to accept being suspended from a Test match for my country,” Watson said.

    “I’ve missed a lot of Test matches and games through injury throughout my career and I also feel like I’ve worked my absolute bum off as well to have an opportunity to be able to represent my country.

    “I think it’s extremely harsh to be suspended from a Test match for your country in any circumstance, whether we are two-nil down or whether we are going very well.”

    Watson said he had expressed his extreme disappointment with the punishment.

    He said he wasn’t thinking about returning to India for the fourth and final Test as he was only thinking about the safe arrival of his baby.

    Watson said returning home would give him the opportunity to reflect on what had happened over the last two days.

    “I absolutely love playing cricket, I love nothing more than being able to have the opportunity and privilege to represent my country,” Watson said.

    “And that’s something when it was taken away from me with the suspension, I think the guys back in India realised how much it hurts me.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • March 13th 2013 @ 7:24am
      Sal said | March 13th 2013 @ 7:24am | ! Report

      I stumbled upon this juicy website and since understood the reason why tabloids sell. Can’t get enough of the current Aussie cricket drama.

      Keep it coming fellas!

    • March 13th 2013 @ 9:44am
      Mad Monk said | March 13th 2013 @ 9:44am | ! Report

      This looks like a power struggle between Watson and Clarke. I’m backing the skipper.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

    • March 13th 2013 @ 10:09am
      jameswm said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:09am | ! Report

      Howard has to go.

      Firstly it’s a harsh thing to think, but to say it in public? How naive can Howard be? Do we want someone this naive in charge if our cricket team?

      Watto has changed his tune and is copping the punishment on the chin. Maybe it’ll be the making of him.

      And don’t anyone come on here criticising Watto for leaving the tour to support his heavily pregnant wife, who has some complications and is about to give birth. Maybe those people think Haddin should have stayed on the WIndies tour to protect his test spot, rather than coming home to support his very sick daughter.

      • March 13th 2013 @ 10:58am
        Renegade said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:58am | ! Report

        Well said.

    • March 13th 2013 @ 10:32am
      Hairy Pear said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:32am | ! Report

      The worst part about all of this is that there is no black & white, only grey.

      Clarke is a great bat & a good onfield captain but clearly has his little boys club that influences who gets picked. Overall, taking everything into considreation, not a good captain.

      Howard seems to be totally out of his depth

      Arthur seems top be an ordainary coach. Surely there is an ex Australian test cricketer with the strength of character & skills to be better.

      The 4 blokes stood down were p*ss poor for not showing interest in improving performance

      James Sutherland has had his time. Ten years is long enough. Time for some fresh ideas

      Watson is clearly all about himself. Blabbing to the press about wanting to open when on form he shouldn’t even be in the side. It is the Australian test team you flog, be grateful you get picked at all.

      The selectors seem to have no idea how to pick test players. Picking Doherty based on ODI form is a good example.

      So there we have it, the fans are left with nothing but a shambles with clowns in all directions.

      • March 13th 2013 @ 11:00am
        Renegade said | March 13th 2013 @ 11:00am | ! Report

        As you said, there’s a lot of grey and the public don’t really know what’s happening inside the camp.

        Hard to argue with any of your points though and just shows how big a mess Australian cricket is in.

    • March 13th 2013 @ 11:41am
      Mad Monk said | March 13th 2013 @ 11:41am | ! Report

      James I have not heard one person criticise Watson for coming home for the birth of his child. I have heard plenty criticise him for openly canvassing his desire to open. When Howard says he is sometimes a team player this is what I think of.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

      • March 13th 2013 @ 3:10pm
        jameswm said | March 13th 2013 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

        Heaps of amateur commentators have criticised Watto for leaving the tour, running away etc.

        It just so happens it was coincidence that he leaves now.

    • March 13th 2013 @ 2:24pm
      JasonJ said | March 13th 2013 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

      One way or the other, It is great news to a degree we got rid of Watson, sorry Shane you are not that important plus not even good enough to be worthy of representing Australia

      • March 13th 2013 @ 7:07pm
        Jono said | March 13th 2013 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

        Hear hear Jason. Spot on! Top all-rounder, but if not bowling, then his batting alone doesn’t earn him a spot in the side – particularly on current form.

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