Calcutta: It’s unclear just how civil their meeting was, on Monday morning, but it was then that Australia vice-captain Shane Watson told coach Mickey Arthur that he wanted to fly home and be with wife Lee, who is expecting their first child.
“Watson sought permission during the meeting Mickey had with him. It’s incorrect to say that he’s walked out of the touring party,” a well-placed source in the Australia squad said in the evening, when contacted by The Telegraph.
However, Watson gave no indication as to when he’d return. If at all, that is.
Clearly, the contents of Arthur’s ‘communication’ weren’t palatable for Watson, among the top failures in the first two Tests of the ongoing series.
Around 10.30 pm, Cricket Australia issued a media release stating that Watson had been “granted leave.”
It remained silent on when the request (if actually that) was made.
Watson, left “absolutely shattered,” may go to the extent of quitting Test cricket.
What’s certain is that he’ll no longer be given responsibilities such as being the vice-captain.
For this Watson, things haven’t quite been elementary.
Meanwhile, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja will continue to engage in all regular activities, even though they won’t be considered for the third Test, in Mohali, from Thursday.
“All three trained in the afternoon and certainly won’t be kept out of the activities. They’ve been disciplined, not banned,” the well-placed source pointed out.
The squad was given the “stunning news” at a team meeting prior to the training session.
With India 2-0 up in the four-Test series, there couldn’t have been better news than Pattinson not having a go in Mohali.
Great news, in fact, for Mohali can be rather helpful to Pattinson’s tribe. Early on, at least.