Pakistan cricket – Shane Watson drops out of race to become head coach


Exclusive: the termination of other commitments at short notice would be the main reason for his withdrawal

Shane Watson at a media event Getty Images

Shane Watson withdrew from the race to become Pakistan head coach after being the PCB’s preferred candidate.

Watson, the former Australian all-rounder who coached Quetta Gladiators this season in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), was in advanced discussions last week regarding taking over as Pakistan’s limited overs coach. It is understood that he had seriously considered the offer after thoroughly enjoying his time in Pakistan during the PSL and was excited by the prospect of working with Pakistan’s players.

But ESPNcricinfo understands that Watson has decided to honor his current coaching and commentary commitments for the time being. Watson currently has an IPL commentary contract and a head coaching role in Major League Cricket with the San Francisco Unicorns, in addition to his role with Quetta Gladiators. He also has a young family and is based in Sydney.

A full-time position with Pakistan would have seen him take charge with immediate effect ahead of Pakistan’s next limited-overs series against New Zealand at home in April and commit to Pakistan’s limited-overs schedule throughout the season. ‘year.

Watson’s decision to withdraw from the race means Pakistan remain without a head coach ahead of the five-match T20I series against New Zealand. Pakistan are also scheduled to play the T20Is against England in May before the T20 World Cup in June.

While reports in Pakistan suggested that the PCB’s offer to Watson was around $2 million per year, ESPNcricinfo understands that the actual figure was closer to half that figure. It is understood that the PCB’s financial offer played no role in Watson’s decision to step down.

The speed with which developments occurred regarding the PCB’s interest in Watson as head coach meant that accepting the offer would have required stepping down from his other duties at short notice, which is considered the main reason for withdrawal.

Watson was appointed head coach of Quetta Gladiators late last year. He won a title with the Gladiators as a player in 2019.

He made the changes at the top in his first season as coach, notably playing a leading role in replacing Sarfaraz Ahmed – who had captained the franchise for eight years – with South African Rilee Rossouw.

The Gladiators started extremely strong and qualified for the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. However, they lost momentum towards the end of the tournament and were eliminated by Islamabad United Friday.

Alex Malcolm is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo. Danyal Rasool is the Pakistan correspondent for ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000

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