VETERAN allrounder Shane Watson said yesterday winning a first Ashes away series since 2001 is a huge motivator for the senior members of the Australia squad heading to England this year.
Watson (33) is one of several members of this year’s victorious World Cup-winning team in the Ashes touring party who are likely 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 win a series in England.
“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 told reporters.
“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.”
While Clarke and Haddin have announced their retirement from One-Day cricket, Watson said he still wants to represent Australia in all three formats.
“It is an absolute privilege and an honour to be able to do it,” Watson said.
“I feel very fresh and keen to continue playing because I still feel I’ve got a lot of improvement to go.”
Australia play the first of five Tests against England in Cardiff on July 8.
1st Test: July 8-12, Cardiff
2nd Test: July 16-20, Lord’s
3rd Test: July 29-August 2, Edgbaston
4th Test: August 6-10, Nottingham
5th Test: August 20-24, Kennington Oval