Watson to skipper Thunder for BBL|06

Defending champions name veteran allrounder to fill role vacated by Mike Hussey's retirement

Cricket Network

25 October 2016, 08:37 AM

Shane Watson will captain the Sydney Thunder for their KFC Big Bash League title defence this summer, the club announced today.

Watson takes over from Thunder stalwart Mike Hussey, who retired from playing after leading the club from the Big Bash cellar to their maiden championship. Hussey is now the club's Director of Cricket.

Watson brings a wealth of T20 captaincy experience, having previously skippered the now-defunct Rajasthan Royals to an Indian Premier League title. He scored an unbeaten 124 against India last January in his sole match as the Australian T20 captain. He's also lead the one-day side nine times.

"I'm very excited to be chosen as captain of the Sydney Thunder," said Watson.

"I've got big shoes to fill with Mike Hussey doing an incredible job over the past couple of years. I'm going to have to be at my best to live up to what Mike's done.

"I've got my own personality and style on how I like to play T20 cricket from my experiences of playing a lot of T20 cricket.

"Things won't change that much but I have my own ideas on how the team can get the best out of themselves against world-class opposition."

Hussey said Watson was the "perfect person" to step into his shoes at the Thunder.

"Shane joining Thunder last year was a real coup for the club and I'm pleased to see he's accepted the position of captain," Hussey said.

"He has a lot of experience captaining at the very highest level and his leadership skills were a key factor in our success last year.

"I'm very proud of the culture we've established within club and have no doubt that Shane is the perfect person to take the reigns going forward."

Meg Lanning Steve Smith