Sydney: Australia's team performance manager Pat Howard has taken responsibility for all rounder Shane Watson's latest calf injury, which has forced him to sit out of the Gabba Test against South Africa.
Watson, absent from the entire Test summer last season due to a calf tear, will now set his sights on regaining fitness for the remaining two matches of the South Africa series in Adelaide and Perth.
The injury to Australia's star performer has highlighted the conflict between Cricket Australia's high-performance department and its commercial arm.
CA is ruing not giving Watson enough time to prepare for the first Test despite controversially withdrawing him from the Champions League Twenty20 midway through the tournament.
"We knew that we needed to lighten his load, and probably we needed to lighten it a little bit more than we did. It's a balancing act, it's always a balancing act. It was well publicised the moves we made earlier and, obviously, we tried to get in the position to give him the best opportunity to prepare but also give his body a rest. It possibly wasn't enough and I take responsibility for that," Howard said.
It is believed Australia's high performance team had preferred Watson to not play at all in the Champions League Twenty20 but that was unlikely as CA was desperate for the tournament to succeed in which they are one-third stakeholders.
Watson's injury has come as a shock as the all-rounder returned to Australia over a fortnight ago with little sign he was about to break down, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.