PSL ‘incredible opportunity’ for up-and-coming Pak cricketers:Shane Watson


DUBAI: Australian all-rounder Shane Watson said Tuesday the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is an incredible opportunity for the country’s young cricket talent to bump up their game by playing against and sharing the dressing room with top-calibre players.

Having moved from Islamabad United to Quetta Gladiators for the PSL’s third season, the famed cricketer told  in an  interview that the series is “as good as any other league being played in around the world”.

He noted “the quality and the calibre of overseas players that are available here but also the local Pakistani players”.

“There are not so many weaknesses in any team. Be it the fast bowlers, there’s a lot of fast bowlers in Pakistan and quality spinners and powerful batsmen.

“It’s tough cricket, which is a good thing for the players playing and also for the viewers back home, watching in Pakistan,” the 36-year-old said while talking about the standard of the PSL.

When asked about the difference between his previous and current PSL franchises, he said: “All franchises are gonna be different, [but] it’s quite fun to be part of Quetta. It’s a really good franchise … lot of really good people here in Quetta.

“Obviously, I had a lot of fun in Islamabad, but it’s another change and I’m really excited to be part of it.”

The Australian all-rounder added that he is enjoying his time with Gladiators and plans to help them achieve victory this time around.

“That’s the plan; we start every tournament to win the tournament,” he said, expressing his hopes for a good result for the Gladiators this season.

The competition in the PSL is very tough and it’s a great experience for young Pakistan cricketers, added the veteran sportsman, who has played 59 Test matches, 190 one-day internationals (ODIs), and 58 twenty20 internationals (T20Is).

“It is an incredible opportunity for young cricketers to play these franchises, especially for the local Pakistani players to play in a top-class tournament,” he said.

“I am still undecided. It is not just my decision, it is my family’s decision; my wife and my mom and dad,” he said of his views on visiting Pakistan if Quetta qualifies for the playoffs and beyond.

Watson said the steps being taken to bring cricket back to the home ground are good for the nation’s cricket-loving public.

“There is no doubt that Pakistani people [have been] starved for international cricket in their homeland for a long time, which is difficult because they love cricket as much as we do in Australia.

However, “in the end, we have to make sure that everyone is safe as possible as well. It is a sad state of affairs for the local Pakistani fans but I am sure, at some stage, there will be lot more cricket to come their way,” he noted.

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