Defending champions Sydney Thunder name Shane Watson as skipper for BBL 06
Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has been named as Michael Hussey's successor for defending champions Sydney Thunder in the sixth edition of the Big Bash League which will begin on December 20 when they take on city rivals Sydney Sixers in the opening match.
Having bid farewell to cricket as a player at the end of BBL 05 after clinching the club’ s maiden title in the T20 league before assuming a role as Director of Cricket at Thunder, Hussey is confident that Watson can continue to script success for the franchise in the upcoming season.
Watson has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons with former Australian teammates Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson recalling not-so-pretty incidents in their respective biographies where they have been bullied by the burly all-rounder. However, Michael Hussey, who got the better of his sibling David Hussey, who was representing Melbourne Stars, in the final of the previous campaign, described Watson as the “perfect person” to take on the skipper’s mantle from him at Thunder.
"Shane joining Thunder last year was a real coup for the club and I'm pleased to see he's accepted the position of captain," Hussey said. "He has a lot of experience captaining at the very highest level and his leadership skills were a key factor in our success last year. I'm very proud of the culture we've established within the club and have no doubt that Shane is the perfect person to take the reigns going forward."
Watson bid farewell to international cricket in 2016 at the end of the World T20 held in India but is still one of the most sought after players in various T20 leagues across the world including the Pakistan Super League and the Carribean Super League. He has also been named the Player of the tournament in the Indian Premier League twice and is hopeful of leading the Thunder from the front with both bat and ball in the upcoming BBL season.
While Watson admitted that it would be tough to replicate Hussey’s success, he wants to infuse his own style of captaincy on the field and is hopeful that he receives full backing from his teammates.
"I'm very excited to be chosen as captain of the Sydney Thunder," said Watson. "I've got big shoes to fill with Mike Hussey doing an incredible job over the past couple of years. I'm going to have to be at my best to live up to what Mike's done.
"I've got my own personality and style on how I like to play T20 cricket from my experiences of playing a lot of T20 cricket. Things won't change that much but I have my own ideas on how the team can get the best out of themselves against world-class opposition," he added.