It won’t find its way into cricketing folklore the way Anil Kumble bowling with a fractured jaw against West Indies or Graeme Smith walking out to bat with a broken left arm trying to save a Test match for South Africa, but the image of Shane Watson batting with a bloodied left leg is testament to the Australian allrounder’s dedication to the job for Chennai Super Kings during last year’s IPL final. Also Read - IPL 2020 LIVE KXIP vs SRH Match 43 Live Cricket Score And Updates Online: Arshdeep, Jordan Star as Punjab Beat Hyderabad by 12 Runs
On the night of May 13, during the IPL 2019 final defending champions CSK and Mumbai Indians in Hyderabad, Watson carried the chase towards 150 almost single-handedly with a heroic 80 off 59 balls before he was run out off the fourth ball of the final over. Also Read - RCB vs CSK 11Wickets Team Prediction IPL 2020: Captain, Vice-captain, Fantasy Playing Tips, Probable XIs For Today's Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings T20 Match in Dubai
Almost a year later, Watson revealed he had no idea about the injury and that it wasn’t until he walked off after getting out that the allrounder realised he had a bloody knee. Also Read - IPL 2020: KKR Captain Morgan Calls Win Over DC as Their Most Complete Performance of The Season so Far
“I had absolutely no idea that had occurred. It wasn’t until actually when I was walking off after I had run myself out in the last over and stuffed it for CSK (laughs). The chance to win another final. So I was walking off and I saw blood and a cut,” Watson told CSK social media handles during a video chat.
It was later revealed by his CSK team-mate Harbhajan Singh on social media that Watson required six stitches after he decided to bat on during the final despite injuring himself. In the third over of CSK’s chase, Watson cut his left leg while diving to make his ground. Images of Watson show a pool of blood under his left knee, staining his yellow CSK pants red.
“It cut through my pants. I thought it must have been because of my dive. But it wasn’t actually till the next day when my wife mentioned ‘there was blood on your pants’ like it was before that. There might have been some dive or dodgy run or whatever in the first few overs where I might have dived,” Watson said.
Watson expressed gratitude towards CSK coach and captain Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni for backing him despite not being in the best of touches heading into the 2018 edition of the IPL. Watson has remained an integral part of the CSK setup joining them couple of years ago, scoring an impressive 953 runs from 32 games across two seasons.
With the IPL sliding towards further uncertainty due to the imposition of an extended lockdown, the chances of the tournament taking place this year are highly slim. Yet, Watson remains hopeful of it, wishing to turn up for the franchise once more.
“Hopefully the things will sort of work out in the next few days and I will be able to play at least one more year with CSK,” Watson said. “To be able to share love of CSK, all around India not just in Chennai. And that’s the thing that blows me away. It is not just in Chennai but wherever we go, the support that we get is very strong.
“So I hope this virus moves on and I have the pleasure to re-join CSK for some more time.”