Watson led Syndey Thunder even after his international retirement. Getty

Shane Watson will retire from the Big Bash League, to officially call time on his cricket career in Australia in order to spend more time with his family during the summer vacation. Watson, 37, skippered Sydney Thunder even after his retirement from international cricket in 2016, but confirmed that he won't make his fifth appearance for the club.

"Shane Watson was one of the most exciting short-form players ever to grace a cricket field," Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said on Friday (April 26). "Talented, skillful and powerful, Shane was a devastating batsman at his best. It was only a few months ago he scored a century from just 62 balls for the Thunder against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.

"In a career which spanned almost two decades Shane made a major contribution to Australian cricket firstly at international level and then in domestic cricket as a significant contributor to the Big Bash. His greatest quality was persistence, overcoming a number of sometimes serious injuries and curtailing his pace. He became a probing swing and seam bowler.

"Despite these injuries Shane played a remarkable amount of cricket, representing Australia in 307 matches across all formats and playing more than 700 matches of international and domestic cricket in total, scoring more than 25,000 runs and claiming over 600 wickets. He is also the only Sydney Thunder batsman to score more than a 1000 runs. He is Australia's most successful Test and One-Day batting all-rounder after Steve Waugh. No other Australians combined as many runs and wickets in either format," he added.

Watson ends his BBL career with 1058 runs and 20 wickets in 42 games. He, however, will continue to ply his trade in T20 tournaments around the world.