Aussie old guard pumped for Ashes campaign

Veteran allrounder Shane Watson wants to keep playing all three forms of cricket internationally and says the old guard in Australia’s Ashes squad are highly motivated to get an elusive series win in England.

33-year-old Watson is one of several members of the recent victorious World Cup-winning team included in the Ashes party, who are probably looking at their last chance of playing in a triumphant Ashes away campaign.

Captain Michael Clarke 34, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, 37, and paceman Mitchell Johnson, 33, have all played in unsuccessful Ashes tours.

Outside of the World Cup squad, 30-year-old paceman Peter Siddle has had two fruitless Ashes campaigns in England and 37-year-old opener Chris Rogers and 35-year-old quick Ryan Harris one each.

And the ages of Ashes tour rookies Adam Voges (35), Fawad Ahmed (33) and Shaun Marsh (31) may count against them getting another chance to defeat the old enemy on their own soil.

Watson said winning a first Ashes away series since 2001 was a huge motivator for the senior members of the squad.

“One of the last final things to really tick off for a few of us older guys is an Ashes win away from home,” Watson said on Friday.

“This will be my third (Ashes tour), so I certainly know what the experience is like when we lose.

“I know going over there we’re playing a lot of really good cricket. We’ve got match winners throughout our whole team in the Test arena as well, so we’re very excited about the prospects.”

Watson said he had learnt a lot when he was dropped for a short time during the World Cup.

While Clarke and Haddin have announced their retirement from one-day cricket, Watson said he still loved representing Australian in all three formats.

“It is an absolute privilege and an honour to be able to do it,” Watson said.

“l feel very fresh and keen to continue playing because I still feel I’ve got a lot of improvement to go.”

Asked to nominate those areas, Watson said batting for longer periods in Test cricket in which he has score four hundreds against 24 fifties, and improving the resilience of his notoriously injury-prone body.

Watson, who will leave for the two-Test tour of the West Indies after his wife gives birth to their second child, today signed a three-year deal with Big Bash League side Sydney Thunder.

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