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Quetta Gladiators’ Coach Watson Praises Team’s Performance in PSL

In his inaugural stint as the head coach of Quetta Gladiators, former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance in the ninth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The 42-year-old Australian cricket legend has been instrumental in shaping the team’s strategies, fostering young talent, and setting high aspirations for the tournament.

Watson, who has transitioned from a player to a coach, finds his new role less stressful and thoroughly enjoyable. He considers it a privilege to be at the helm of a team like Quetta Gladiators. “Creating the ultimate environment for players has been immensely rewarding,” Watson shared.

The coach’s primary focus has been to establish an environment where players can perform at their best. His efforts have paid off, with the team demonstrating consistent performance throughout the tournament. "Everyone has put their hand up when the team needed them,” Watson said, expressing his happiness with the team’s performance.

Watson’s coaching philosophy revolves around encouraging batters to trust their instincts and fully commit to their shots. He believes that players perform at their best when they play fearlessly, trusting their instincts and fully committing to their actions. This approach, he says, has been a recipe for success, even though sports are inherently unpredictable and sometimes the opposition may have a better day.

One of Watson’s strategic decisions was to have Saud Shakeel open the innings. Watson praised Shakeel’s versatility and skill set, stating, "Saud is a highly skilled young man, his balance with Jason Roy and his ability to play spin and fast bowling make him a perfect fit for the opening slot.”

Watson also expressed admiration for the young talent Khawaja Nafay, who he believes has exceptional power and bat speed. Watson noted, “His skill and power make him a promising prospect for Pakistan cricket.”

Reflecting on the evolution of the PSL since its inception, Watson highlighted the emergence of young power hitters and the increased quality of spinners in the league. He remarked, “The thing that’s probably stood out for me is the power of the power hitters that have really come through, whether it’s the top order or middle order power hitters from Pakistan.”

When asked about Quetta Gladiators’ chances of lifting the trophy, Watson expressed confidence in the team’s abilities but stressed the importance of consistent performance and teamwork. He believes that the team has the potential to win, provided they maintain their current form and work together as a unit.

Watson also praised the leadership of former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, both on and off the field. He commended Sarfaraz’s exceptional leadership skills and his ability to add value to the team, regardless of whether he has the captain’s title or not. Watson concluded, “He’s just his natural leader anyway. So even if he doesn’t ever have a C beside his name, he certainly knows how to be able to add value he needs to.”

As the PSL continues, Watson’s leadership and coaching strategies will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the Quetta Gladiators’ journey in the tournament. His emphasis on creating a conducive environment for players, trusting instincts, and playing fearlessly are lessons that extend beyond the cricket field, resonating with audiences and aspiring cricketers across Pakistan.

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