On Sunday, Shane Watson strode like a colossus onto the cricket pitch at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and played one of the best T20 innings ever witnessed in Chennai Super Kings’ eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad. Mind you, the occasion was the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Within 24 hours the winners dashed off to Chennai to ring in their celebrations. And, barely had the dust settled down when the former Australian cricketer took the next flight to Dubai to be unveiled as the iconic player for Team Karachians.
It is certainly a masterstroke for the Karachians and the T10 Cricket League to have one of the best all-rounders in the shorter format.
“I’m very excited to be here,” said the 36-year-old Watson who retired from international cricket in 2016.
“It’s a great privilege to be associated with the Karachians. It will be my first time I will be playing a T10 tournament, so for an older player like me, 10 overs may be more attractive than playing the longer format,” he said with a smile.
Shaji Ul Mulk, chairman of the T10 league, said this year there are a lot bigger names and Watson’s inclusion will add value to the League. “The number of matches this year has increased from 13 to 28 and if Shane can do what he did a few days ago then imagine what he can do in 10 overs.”
Mohsin Imran, Director of Artistic Properties and co-owner of Karachians, was ecstatic at Watson joining the team. “We are pleased to announce that Watson has joined the Karachians to lead the line-up of prestigious international cricket players at the T10 Cricket League that was founded in the UAE last year.
“Our choice of Watson demonstrates our position and seriousness in promoting the UAE’s home-grown T10 Cricket League and we are proud to say that this is the beginning of many more to come.
“Being a newcomer in the T10 League format, Watson will lead an aggressive campaign for Karachians to win the title in our first participation in the tournament. Karachians will bring the necessary ingredients – the crowd, fan-following, the star cricketers and the sponsors to the T10 League and help it gain further popularity to the nascent tournament, especially after his match-winning century in the finals of the just-concluded IPL,” he added.