The Silence of the Shane Watson Baiters

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The ubiquitous and avenging force that is Shane Watson

Those that have read this blog before will know that Shane Watson is not exactly my favourite cricketer. For some unfathomable reason I have taken a dislike to him and as I started poking fun at him before he was good, it’s not as if it is I saw him as a threatening Australian player.

Maybe it is because he looks like he is always on the verge of tears. It could be because I’ve always seen him as a bit of a butt licker – the kind of bloke who sucks up to the boss (or captain in this case) or star performers (Warne comes to mind) in the team in order to protect his position and usurp far more talented individuals. Whatever, the reason it would seem I am not alone as a lot of other bloggers and cricket lovers (Australian as well as other nationalities) have also taken an unfathomable dislike of Watson.

At first he gave us a lot of hilarity, mainly because he was always injured and because he appeared to be a far less able Aussie equivalent of Andrew Flintoff. How we laughed when he was called into the Australian side as an opener for the third Ashes test at Edgbaston last summer. Like most England supporters, I thought the Aussies had lost it in replacing the ‘new Bradman’ or ‘once in a generation cricketer’ Phillip Hughes with the portly Watson who at the time averaged 19 with the bat in tests.

Then the joke started to be on us, the collective Watson baiters. He still gave us our moments of joy like his dreadful bowling in the same Edgbaston test, and of course who could forget the Fawlty Towers like quest for his maiden test century. But overall it was Watson who was laughing the most as he cemented his role at the top of the order in all formats of the game and suddenly started to find some movement with the bowl to become a useful fifth bowler option for Ricky Ponting. So much so, that he was the leading Australian cricketer in their recent unbeaten series’ against Pakistan and West Indies.

They say that he who laughs last, laughs longest; and in between the tears, Watson must have been laughing inside when he deservedly won the Allan Border medal last week. Given the previous recipients of this award, Watson is now in heady company.

But it seems that Watson is not content with this. Now he has decided to haunt me. First, there is Luke Wright – the English version of Watson (he even looks like him), but only the pre-Edgbaston Watson (i.e. the crap one), who has somehow managed to cement a place in the ODI and T20 sides, and is incredibly being spoken of as a replacement for Flintoff in the test side.

And Watson’s revenge is now complete. My new boss is the spitting image of the Australian all-rounder right down to the fact that he always looks like he is going to cry (or maybe that is just when I am around). My only hope is that he proves to be as intelligent (or not) as Watson (who is hardly banging on Mensa’s door), so I will be able to run rings around him, but I am not confident.

Ok, I give up Shane, I will stop belittling you from this point forward. Well at least until The Ashes anyway…

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