Watson returns home for match practice

Published: Thursday, October 28, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Brisbane:All-rounder Shane Watson has returned home from Australia's cricket tour of India to play his first match in six weeks here this weekend.

Watson chose to return home for match practice after being told by selectors that he wasn't required for the final two matches of the four-Test series.

He arrived here on Thursday and immediately made himself available for club cricket and chase injured Martin Love's No.3 position in the Queensland batting top-order.

"It's a good blessing for me to come back and play some cricket," said Watson, who last played in the seven-wicket Champions Trophy win over New Zealand on September 16 but did not bat.

"I just can't wait. I'm champing at the bit to come back and start playing.

"We came to the decision (to return from India) with me, Adam Gilchrist and (selector) Allan Border thinking that probably the best thing would be for me to come back home to play some cricket."

Watson has not had the opportunity to play an innings of note since a brief guest appearance with English club Hampshire in the northern summer.

Queensland will be looking for him to score runs when he debuts for Queensland in back-to-back one-day and Sheffield Shield matches in Adelaide in a week.

His 983 runs at 54.61 last season for adopted state Tasmania has him keen to take over from Love at first-drop after the former Test batsman broke a finger in the outright win over New South Wales last week.

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