Injured Australian cricketer Shane Watson has said that he will use his second stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2009 to boost his Ashes selection hopes.
The seemingly-jinxed Queenslander said he would be bowling in the nets before the lucrative IPL starts in mid-April and intended once again using the Twenty20 tournament as a springboard back into the international arena.
“That’s definitely the goal at the moment, and a realistic goal,” he said on Wednesday after speaking with personal fitness trainer Victor Popov.
“The IPL will be a good way to just gradually build up your workload,” he added.
Watson, the 2008 IPL player of the tournament, hopes history repeats after his efforts to help the Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals saw him recalled to the Australian One-day and Test teams.
After being diagnosed with stress fractures while acting as 12th man in the second Test loss to South Africa at the MCG, his hopes of making the Ashes tour to England appeared in tatters.
Overlooked for the previous three Tests after selectors controversially preferred Andrew Symonds, Watson was also poised to retain the all-rounder’s role he filled admirably during the four-Test tour of India.
The injury-plagued 27-year-old now faces four-to-six weeks of rest before returning to domestic cricket as a specialist batsman for the Bulls.
He aims to be bowling in the nets as early as late March.
“The IPL will come along at the right time again after the Shield season. The plan is to be gradually building the bowling up in three to four months with the workload. The plan is to be bowling before the Ashes team is picked,” Watson said.