ANI Photo | “Fortunate to be playing at this point of our lives”: Shane Watson on participation in Legends League Cricket

Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson on Thursday opened up on his participation in Legends League Cricket (LLC) latest season in India and expressed that at this point of his career, playing in front of packed crowds and using his skills as a player gives him joy.
The latest season of LLC in India will start from November 18 with a match between India Capitals and Bhilwara Kings. Bhilwara Kings is Watson’s team and it is led by former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan.
In an interview with ANI, Watson discussed India’s World Cup run, Australia’s World Cup performances and middle-order batting, Virat Kohli chasing Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI tons and Legends League Cricket.
“I am looking forward to it (The latest season of LLC). My experience last year was really special, reaching the finals. I am playing for Bhilwara Kings. To reconnect with players I have played against and with them, with Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan, with who I played for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and Tim Bresnan, with who I have had some battles on the field felt nice,” said Watson to ANI.
“That is the beauty of LLC, to connect with people I have played against before or have not played against before, connecting with new people. You get to know different people from different walks of life. One thing that stood out to me, especially in Jodhpur last year was the following. To play in front of packed crowds, the atmosphere was incredible. It was cool to play in front of packed crowds, especially after having retired from professional cricket years back,” he added.
Watson said that it was great to be back on the field again. He said that his body has faced challenges since his playing days, and the joy he gets from being out in the middle and using his skill is great.
“It is great to get out on the field. My body has always been a challenge, even in my playing days too. The joy I get from being out there in the middle, using the skill of batting that I know better than anything in my life and cricket in general is great. Once I retired, I thought it was the last time I was going to use my cricketing skills. To have that opportunity to come out in the middle, to be in a competitive space is special and enjoyable. It is something I thought would never get to do again,” said Watson.
On his skipper Irfan Pathan, the all-rounder said that he is incredibly experienced and competitive.
“Irfan is an incredibly experienced cricket, not only in terms of his batting/bowling skill. But he has also been around some incredible leaders throughout his time in international cricket. I have always enjoyed my rivalries with him in international cricket and IPL. They have been fiercely contested in the right spirit. He is a very competitive guy, as we all are. His leadership on the field is great. Competitive spirit makes one a truly great player,” he said.
On how one prepares for such events after retiring from international cricket, which is higher in intensity and pressure, Watson said, “There is no doubt that there is no pressure similar to international cricket. We are doing this to just enjoy ourselves and get back on the field. We are fortunate to be playing the game at this point of our lives. When we all retired, thought it was the last time that we are going to use our cricketing skill.”
“Preparation comes down to the individual that you are ready to go, with all other things going on in your life. There is quality content for fans. People know that player is not going to be the same player he was during his prime, but for them it is still joy to watch. Just like what it is for me to watch my favourite players play still sometimes. To see them play and do their thing and play yourself after retirement is really nice. That is why people turned out in large numbers in Jodhpur and Jaipur last time and watched on TV,” he concluded.
Bhilwara Kings squad: Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Shane Watson, Ryan Sidebottom, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lendl Simmons, William Porterfield, Solomon Mire, Christopher Barnwell, Pinal Shah, Tim Murtagh, Prosper Utseya, Dhammika Prasad, Rahul Sharma, Jesal Karia, Anureet Singh, Iqbal Abdulla. (ANI)

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