Watson quits Australia's vice-captaincy
A month after he was disciplined during A the disastrous tour of India, Australian all-rounder Shane Watson A has stepped down as the team's...
A month after he was disciplined during A the disastrous tour of India, Australian all-rounder Shane Watson A has stepped down as the team's vice-captain to focus his "attention A on scoring runs and taking wickets". "Making the decision to step down wasn't easy but it's something A I've been thinking about since the Test series against India ended," A Watson said in a statement. "I think it's the right time for a change for both the team A and me. I'll be honest and admit I wrestled with the decision for A some time, however once I made up my mind, I informed Cricket Australia A so the selectors could consider their options for the Ashes given A the squads will be announced soon," he added. Watson said he wants to focus on becoming a better player. A A A "I want to be the best Test player I can be for Australia and A think I can do that by stepping down from the vice-captaincy to focus A my attention on scoring runs, taking wickets and doing whatever is A necessary to help the team achieve success. "I won't be the vice-captain in title but I think I can still A be a leader and strong contributor around the group," he said. A A A Watson said his captain Michael Clarke, coach Mickey Arthur A and Cricket Australia were supportive of his decision to quit the post. "Yesterday I rang John Inverarity, Mickey Arthur and Michael A Clarke to advise them of my decision and they respect that decision A and agree with me that this is the best outcome for me and the team. "I thank Cricket Australia for the leadership opportunity over A the past two years and I'm really looking forward to this next phase," A Watson said. A A A "In my conversations with Mickey and Michael I reaffirmed my A commitment to the team and support for them as we fight to win back A the Ashes and get back to being ranked number one in the world," he added. Cricket Australia National Selector John Inverarity said Watson A would remain a central figure in the team despite his decision to A step down as vice-captain. A A A "Shane Watson should be commended for making the tough call A to step down from the vice-captaincy to focus on playing. Regardless, A he will still be an important senior leader within the team," he said. "The National Selection Panel (NSP) will now consider and then A put a vice-captaincy recommendation to the Cricket Australia Board A for its approval," he added. A A A Watson left the tour of India after he and three other Australian A players were handed a one-match suspension for failing to submit A a self-assessment report to Arthur. He left India early to be with his wife, who was expecting the A couple's first child. A A A The 31-year-old returned after the child's birth to captain A Australia in the absence of an injured Clarke in the fourth Test, A which the team lost by six wickets to go down 0-4 in the series.