Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals (DC) on Tuesday announced former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson as their new assistant coach for the upcoming season of the lucrative league.
Watson, 40, will now join the DC coaching staff comprising Ricky Ponting (Head Coach), Pravin Amre (Assistant Coach), Ajit Agarkar (Assistant Coach) and James Hopes (Bowling Coach).
Commenting on his appointment, Watson said: “The IPL, the best T20 tournament in the world. I’ve got incredible memories as a player, first of all with Rajasthan Royals winning it in 2008, led by the incredible man Shane Warne, RCB and then CSK. I’ve got incredible memories as a player, and now coaching opportunities. It’s come to be able to work under the great Ricky Ponting. He was an amazing leader as a captain, and now to be able to coach under him. He is one of the best coaches in the world now. So, for me to be able to learn the ropes under Ricky, I am really excited.”
“With Delhi Capitals, they got great squad, now is the time to win their first title. I am super pumped to get over there, work with the boys, help them out as much as I can and hopefully, we can win the first title. Can’t wait to get over there,” he added.
Notably, Watson is considered one of the best all-rounders in white ball cricket. He has been a part of two of Australia’s World Cup winning campaigns in the 50 over format – in 2007 & 2015.
At the 2012 T20 World Cup, he was named Player of the Tournament.
Watson has represented his country in 190 ODIs and 58 T20Is and has over 7000 runs, and more than 200 wickets to his name in limited overs cricket.
In the cash-rich league, Watson has played for Rajasthan Royals (RR), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK). He has won the IPL title twice – with RR in 2008 and with CSK in 2018.
Watson has 3875 runs and 92 wickets to his name in the IPL and has often been hailed as one of the tournament’s best all-rounders owing to his consistency.
Notably, the upcoming IPL season will begin on March 26 and will be played in a bio-secure environment at a single hub to avoid air travel, considered as a major threat for the spread of COVID-19 infection, thereby affecting the players and tournament.
While 55 matches are scheduled to be held in Mumbai, the remaining 15 games will be staged in Pune while the playoffs’ venues haven’t been decided yet. Is most likley that the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad will stage the playoffs however, no official announcement has been made yet.
In the upcoming season, the 10 teams have been divided into two groups. While Group A comprises of Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants, Group B includes Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans.
From this year onwards, the lucrative league will be a ten-team affair following the addition of the two new teams – Ahmedabad and Lucknow and will have a total of 74 games.