Aussie also believes that Gladiators have an incredible squad
Quetta Gladiators’ opener Shane Watson has praised the leadership behind the franchise, after they qualified for the final of Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) season four.
While speaking to espncricinfo in an exclusive interview, the 37-year-old said the management of the team is in safe hands and this is something which makes it different from other sides.
“This year, even last year, the difference to me is that their leadership is always incredibly strong and that is a big difference here with Quetta compared to other teams I played with in the past,” said Watson. “The owner, Nadeem Omar, is a genuinely incredible, caring and thoughtful guy and you feel that all the way down to the support staff and the players as well.”
Watson also spoke about the Gladiators’ squad and the presence of match-winners in the side.
“Then this year we have an incredible squad. We've got a lot of match-winners through our whole squad which means our dressing room is a bit different to the other ones I've played in because not every team has match-winners all the way through,” he said.
The right-handed batsman also spoke about the role played by his wife, in convincing him to go to Pakistan.
“For me at the end, my wife has been incredibly supportive, she realised how important it is for me to be able to go to Pakistan for Quetta and also for the people of Pakistan. So it worked out very well,” he said.
The Aussie was also delighted with the love shown by people of Karachi as he said: “Yes, even from the first time arriving here at Karachi, people have always been incredible, welcoming and warm and that's what exactly we all received at the ground.”
Watson was also pleasantly surprised with the amount of young pacers coming through HBL PSL, while speaking about the depth in fast-bowling armoury of Pakistan.
“It's an incredible thing, the depth that Pakistan cricket has over any other country that I have ever played in - real and proper fast bowling. It's amazing how they continue to come through,” he said. “Now we've got [Mohammad] Hasnain here at Quetta who has come onto the scene and is bowling 150kmh, and it continues to happen every single PSL. So it's pretty amazing.”
Watson bowled the crucial final over to help his team get over the line against Peshawar Zalmi, despite only playing as a specialist batsman in T20 cricket these days.
“I still feel I can contribute with the bat and on the field with the leadership as well, with the experience I have had,” he said. “I want to keep playing so I'm putting my bowling at the back burner and no bowling means that I can hopefully play for a few more years.”
He was also excited to be a part of the grand finale on Sunday, March 17 at the National Stadium in Karachi.
“It is really exciting,” said Watson while talking to psl-t20.com. “That was something you had wished before the start of the tournament, you always wanted to get through to the final and give yourself a chance of winning the title.”