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Cricket: Door left open for Watson after suspension

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Cricket Australia general manager Pat Howard said Tuesday that the door was still open for Shane Watson to play Tests after the vice-captain returned home following his axing from their next India match.The 31-year-old was one of four players suspended for one Test after failing to prepare feedback and deliver it to management on how Australia could improve, with the team trailing 2-0 in the series.Stunned Watson suggested he could quit Test cricket altogether.Howard said Watson was still in contention, but must start toeing the team line, implying he was not always a team player."I know Shane reasonably well. I think he acts in the best interests of the team, sometimes," he said in Brisbane."I am not going to get drawn into that any more. But there are failings in the system in that we are not getting the best out of Shane -- that's our fault."Watson was due home late Tuesday after returning ahead of the third Test but Howard said he was not concerned about the all-rounder's future just yet."I am not worried about that at the moment," he said."I will discuss it with him when I get a chance. I have left a message with his agent."But I think it is clear that whoever is playing for Australia has to be there for the right reasons."They have to want to win for Australia. You don't get to pick and choose. It is the standards that the team sets -- not playing under your own conditions."Watson's departure has left captain Michael Clarke desperately short of experienced heads after the recent retirement of Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey, with an Ashes double-header against England looming later this year.Australia are due to play five Test matches in England in July and August before the two sides go head-to-head again in Australia in another five-match series starting in NovemberJames Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson were the other players suspended.AFP is not covering the four-Test series between India and Australia after the Board of Control for Cricket in India failed to lift restrictions on picture agencies.mp/mfc/ami

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