CA may ask Shane Watson to choose formats to elongate career

Australian all rounder Shane Watson, who is nursing a calf injury right now, currently plays all three formats of the game Getty Images

Perth: Jan 9, 2012

Injury-prone Australian all-rounder Shane Watson may have to pick the formats he wants to play in as part of the Cricket Board’s plan to ensure his longevity on the field.

Cricket Australia’s team performance manager Pat Howard said it would be difficult for Watson to continue playing all three formats — Tests, one-dayers and twenty20s — given his injury-ravaged career.

“You have to sit down with the player and say ‘you tell me what your non-negotiables are, we’ll tell you what our non-negotiables are,” Howard told Herald Sun.

Watson, who is nursing a calf injury right now, currently plays all three formats of the game.

“We particularly have to watch those guys who are highly susceptible who are playing all three forms of the game,” said Howard.

Howard refused to say when the all-rounder would be back from the injury setback.

“We’re not going to make any promises about when he will be back or put any time frames on it. We’re seeing improvement, which we’re happy with,” Howard said.

“We have to take a good 12 months focus with Shane as well. How he fits in with the whole year and how and where we can manage his workload as well. He played a lot of cricket in 2011 and obviously that accumulated at the end of the year.

“We’ve developed an individual player plan for him which hopefully starts dealing with a few of those issues which have built up over time. Every player needs a period of rest. Most sports do four weeks’ annual leave and four weeks of active rest,” he added.

Howard said the injuries in the Australian team have gone down in the last decade.

“There is data which finished in ’09-’10 which had a look at the 10-year history and shows that per 1000 balls bowled there’s less injuries than there was 10 years ago,” he said.

“But we want it to be a lot better.” (PTI)