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Australia all-rounder Shane Watson may miss the first Test against the West Indies in Dominica due to the birth of his second child.
Watson has already delayed his departure to the Caribbean and it has been confirmed that he will miss the only warm-up match prior to the first Test, which will see the Baggy Greens taking on a West Indies Cricket Board XI in Antigua on Wednesday.
While Watson has promised to do his best to be in Dominica prior to the start of the first Test on June 3, he admitted that the arrival of his second child may prohibit him from doing so.
“They’ve said that I don’t have to play the tour game, but obviously there is going to have to be a certain amount of time for me to get there, if it works out that way, to be able to play the first Test,” Watson told reporters in Sydney on Friday. “Coming off playing Twenty20 cricket, and then it’s a long flight and recovering from a long flight into a Test match, I’m going to have to have a decent enough sort of lead-up anyway to be right to go.
“There is no doubt there will be a certain cut-off date at some stage, but there will be physically alone to be able to be right for that Test match. But the most important thing for me right at this time is to be here for the birth of my second baby.”
Watson also revealed that head coach Darren Lehmann has supported his decision to remain behind in Australia and be with his wife for the birth of their second child.
“It’s one of the things he said immediately when he came in,” Watson said. “It’s family first. Initially our partners were banned for the first couple of weeks [of the 2013 Ashes] when Mickey [Arthur] was in charge but he just said if your family is here you’ve got to make the most of spending time with them.
“Darren has always been very much family first and this is a perfect case for myself and Ryan [Harris]. In the end it is just a game even though it’s a game we all love so much.
“I know it’s a really important time in my career as well, obviously the opportunities that are going to be there aren’t always going to be there, there’s no question. I do have to make the most of the opportunities I get leading into the Ashes as well but there is no question [the birth] is my priority.”