Quetta Gladiators, one of the prominent franchises in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), has named former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson as their head coach for the upcoming PSL 2024 season. This announcement marks a significant change for the Gladiators, who have had Moin Khan as their coach for the past eight years.
Moin Khan steps down as head coach
Moin, the former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter, will transition into the role of team director after serving as the head coach for an impressive eight-year tenure. The move indicates a strategic decision by the team management to bring in fresh leadership for a potential resurgence in the upcoming season.
Quetta Gladiators’ glory days and recent struggles
Quetta Gladiators enjoyed remarkable success during the initial four editions of the PSL, reaching the final three times and clinching the championship in 2019. Watson, a vital contributor to the team since joining in 2018, played a pivotal role in Gladiators’ triumph. However, the team has faced challenges in recent years, failing to secure playoff berths in the last four seasons.
Shane Watson takes charge
In a statement released by the franchise, the decision to appoint Shane Watson was explained: “The Quetta Gladiators owner and the team management has decided to appoint Former Australian all-rounder and Gladiators’ best run-getter in the PSL, Shane Watson as head coach of the team.”
Watson’s illustrious career, which includes winning the World Cup in 2007 and 2015, and his instrumental role in Gladiators’ successful 2019 campaign, made him the natural choice for the coaching role.
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Watson’s post-retirement ventures
Watson retired from all forms of cricket in 2020 and ventured into coaching. He served as an assistant coach for the Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2022, working alongside former Australia teammate Ricky Ponting. Earlier this year, Watson was appointed as the head coach of the Major League Cricket franchise San Francisco Unicorns.
A glance at Watson’s cricket legacy
Watson’s cricket legacy is impressive, having played 190 ODIs for Australia, scoring 5757 runs at an average of 40.54, with a strike rate of 90.44. He also took 168 wickets at 31.79. In T20Is, he accumulated 1462 runs at a strike rate of 145.32 in 58 matches, coupled with 48 wickets at an economy rate of just 7.65.
The appointment of Watson brings a wealth of experience and a winning mindset to the Quetta Gladiators, as they aim for a successful campaign in PSL 2024.