Who can forget a blistering 107 not out by an Australian which clinched the third Indian Premier League title for Chennai Super Kings in May this year. Watching Watson in full bloom in Mumbai on that warn night many had thought that why this champ had quit international cricket?
Having retired in March 2016, after a glorious career which earned him two World Cup titles with the Kangaroos, Watson is now a glob trotting player for various Twenty20 leagues around the world. So when he signed for Karachians to feature in the second edition of the Twenty20 league, it made headlines. Watson is a crowd puller for any league and promises more success for this newest and the shortest format of the game.
The big catch – that is how one can define Watson’s signing – was made by Mohsin Imran, Director of Artistic Properties and co-owner of Karachians franchise.
After a stupendous success of the first edition – that also prompted the England and Wales Cricket Board to have their own Hundred-ball Cricket (20 less than Twenty20 and 40 more than T10) in order to bring in new crowds – the league will be bigger and more entertaining this time around.
The second edition of the league starts on November 23 and the final will be played on December 02. Eoin Morgan led Kerala Kings won the title after some nerve-wracking and sensational matches that attracted large crowds in the iconic Sharjah stadium.
With Watson’s entry, the league will have more charm. The organizers have increased teams to eight with the addition of Karachians and Northern Warriors.
Watson feels very excited at the prospect of featuring in a new league. “I am really excited to play my first T10 tournament by joining the Karachians,” Watson told ARY News from Sydney in a telephonic chat. “I got great reviews from the guys who played in the first event. So it will be a lot of fun.”
Watson played 59 Tests, 190 ODIs and 58 Twenty20 internationals for Australia. He was of dual, in fact triple, value for being a handy medium pacer and an excellent fielder besides being a hard hitting willow wielder. He feels T-10 will help him meet more people.
“Absolutely, it’s the beauty of getting to play in different tournaments,” said Watson, who has played in England, the West Indies, Australia’s Big Bash and Pakistan Super League.
Watson was instrumental in Islamabad’s title triumph in the inaugural edition of the PSL in 2016.
In the PSL 3, he represented Quetta Gladiators and once again performed extraordinarily to help his side advance to the Knockout stage.
Meanwhile, Watson too feels that T10 league will add to the entertainment which rapid fire cricket offers.
“Entertainment at its best, ten overs a side will have full entertainment package in short time for the fans,” remarked Watson.
“It will be a great challenge with the bat as you look to hit out from the very first ball and when you have the ball in hands you want to take wickets. You have to get on straight away in a T10 match.”
Watson hopes the lively Karachi fans – wherever they will be – support the franchise.
“I expect the Karachi fans to get behind us,” said an optimistic Watson. “You expect great support on and off the field and I know people are crazy in Pakistan when it comes to cricket,”
Let the fingers be crossed as Shane Watson will add more spice, passion and entertainment in the second edition of the T10 league.