Watson targeting Hampshire return



First published in Sport

SHANE Watson is hoping to one day return to The Ageas Bowl.

The Australian Test all-rounder has great memories of his two previous stints.

In 2004 Watson scored a century on his Championship debut for the county against Somerset at The Ageas Bowl, before smashing a then county record 97 in a t20 game against Kent at the same ground.

The following year Watson struck 132 as Hampshire won a thrilling C & G Trophy quarter final against Surrey at The Oval, before helping the county win the final against Warwickshire.

Watson has been unable to return to England since, having established himself in both his country’s Test and ODI teams.

But as he prepares for the birth of his first child with wife Lee Furlong, the 31-year-old is confident Hampshire have not seen the last of him.

“We are very good friends with Rod Bransgrove and can’t speak highly enough of him and how much he’s done for Hampshire,” said Watson.

“I’m definitely hoping to go back to Hampshire when there’s a break in the international calendar.

“We play so much cricket these days that it’s hard to play county cricket, especially when you’ve got a baby on the way as well.

“When there is a break from touring it’s important to rest, or we would be on the road all year round.

Watson added: “I’m not sure if I would bowl again for Hampshire. I keep getting injured every time I bowl some overs for Australia.”

Watson is due to become a dad sometime in late March or early April.

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