Watson makes peace with Howard, claims commitment to Tests

Mar 18, 2013, 13:15 IST | PTI

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson today said he has buried the hatchet with CA High Performance chief Pat Howard after a series of "constructive chats" that have brought them on the same page.

Shane Watson who was axed from the team after second Test rules out his retirement from the format of the game.

"I have also had a number of chats with Pat Howard over the last week and we are both now on the same page and are really looking forward to working together to get Australia to be the best team in the world," Watson said before boarding the flight back to India.

"My mind's totally clear and I'm really excited to get back on the plane and to contribute to the team as best as I can." The all-rounder had been left out from the third Test in Mohali, along with three other members of the touring squad, for failing to complete an assignment given by coach Mickey Arthur. The move had left Watson fuming and he had threatened to reconsider his Test future.

Watson had headed home to attend the birth of his first child, Will, who was born on Thursday. "I've had several constructive discussions with team management back in Mohali over the past few days. We've spoken about how we are going to work together to move forward, as Australia attempts to climb back to the top of the ICC rankings," Watson said. Watson also put to rest speculation that he was planning to quit Test cricket after the snub.

Shane Watson. Pic/ Getty Images

"I've a burning ambition to be an Australian Test player for as long as I can be and help Australia win those big Test Series' as well as the big ICC Tournaments," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting around the boys again and concentrating on moving forward. I'm entirely committed to the team and being the best player I can be," he added.

Howard, who had created a flutter by claiming that Watson was team man only "sometimes, said he was happy that the imposing player would be back in the side for the fourth Test in Delhi from March 22. "Shane and I have had a number of positive conversations. I am glad to say that Shane will return from compassionate leave and rejoin the squad in India as the team prepares for the fourth Test in Delhi," he said.

Arthur, who is in Mohali, congratulated Watson on the birth of his first child. "It's been a big week for us all both on and off the pitch. The whole Australian cricket team congratulates Lee and Shane on the safe arrival of baby Will," he said in a statement released by Cricket Australia.

"Covering all the bases while preparing for any Test match is key to both us and Shane's recommitment to the team in his chats with me this week have been really positive," he added. "We're looking forward to having Watto back and around the group as we prepare for the fourth Test." Watson will arrive in Delhi early tomorrow morning. He will train with the squad from Wednesday. 

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