Following announcement of giving up vice-captaincy for Australia, Shane Watson insisted that the decision was in fact his own and not prompted by Cricket Australia or the team management.
Watson set rumor mill ablaze on Saturday when he declared his decision to focus on his own performance and make it easier for Australia to build up a succession plan as both him and Captain Michael Clarke are 31 and with Clarke’s ongoing back injury, his life as an international cricket is uncertain thus giving a new vice-captain the chance to learn under him may make the transition much easier when the time comes. On the other hand, speculations suggested he might have been dropped from the role had he not quit.
However, Watson rubbished all such assumptions “Michael and myself are the exact same age and I suppose it’s been in the back of my mind as well to have a succession plan moving forward over the next few years as to who the next Australian captain will be. That definitely played a part in my decision as well, knowing that there really does need to be a succession plan in place, I suppose, in place along the lines of Michael and Ricky [Ponting]. I just think the time is right now for me to stand down and allow that process to move forward.”
Speaking to the Sun-Herald, Watson said “I haven’t felt pressure from the Cricket Australia hierarchy or anything like that at all. It’s mainly just come down to me, knowing that there has to be a succession plan. I’m very realistic with the team, myself and the structure. That is very important. What CA are looking out for at the moment is a few future leaders of the Australian cricket team.”
Considering Watson’s recent form, the decision comes as no surprise. Watson failed to make a Test century since 2010 and averaged just 24.11 with bat during his term as vice-captain.
Watson admitted with his recent performance, he could not be expected to get selected. He said he knew he wasn’t contributing much on the field and believed that giving up extra responsibility would have a positive effect on his performance.
“It will definitely free me up a bit,” Watson said. “My workload is nowhere near what Michael’s is, that’s for sure. But being an all-rounder as well, coming back and bowling, that little bit of extra time that I would have been spending in the leadership meetings I’ll be able to spend on doing everything I can to get the best out of myself. I’ll also be able to get as much life balance as I can with my young family.” He further add, ”Throughout the Indian series it certainly made me realise what my make-up is. That certainly is an all-rounder. It increases my chances of selection as well and I do want to be a part of the Ashes campaign.”