Apr 25, 2020
Graeme Watson, the former Australia allrounder who was battling cancer, has died at the age of 75. Primarily a middle-order batsman and a medium-pace bowler, he played five Tests from 1967 to 1972 and two ODIs in 1972.
After starting his domestic career at Victoria, Watson earned an Australia call-up on the 1966-67 tour of Rhodesia and South Africa as Doug Walters’ replacement. On his debut in Cape Town, the second Test of the series and the only one Australia won, he scored 50 in the first innings. With the ball, he went wicketless in 11 first innings overs, and did not bowl in the second innings after suffering an ankle injury, which ruled him out of the next Test.
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He returned for the fourth Test in Johannesburg where he bagged a career-best 2 for 67 but failed to make a significant contribution with bat or ball thereafter as Australia lost the series in Port Elizabeth.
Injuries remained Watson’s bugbear throughout his career, the worst of them a near-death experience, as described to Ian Chappell by the nurse who treated Watson, when he was struck on the nose by a Tony Greig beamer in a Rest of the World series match in Melbourne in 1971-72. His doctors advised him to retire, but six weeks later he was playing again and was rewarded with a place on the 1972 England tour where he played the last of his two Tests.
In 1971-72 he moved to Western Australia and played a key role in their Sheffield-Shield triumphs in 1971-72, 1972-73, and 1974-75 seasons. He also played two ODIs and finished a 107-match first-class career at New South Wales in 1977.
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