KARACHI: Quetta Gladiators, the 2019 PSL champions, have roped in star former Australian allrounder Shane Watson as the team’s head coach ahead of the 2024 edition of the Pakistan Super League.
According to reports, Quetta have reached a deal with Watson while former Pakistan captain Moin Khan, who served as coach for eight years, will instead be appointed team director of the side.
Gladiators were the most consistent franchise of the PSL during its first four editions, when they reached the final three times, and also won the title in 2019. Watson, who joined the franchise in 2018 after two years with Islamabad United, was a huge part of Gladiators’ success, becoming arguably their greatest overseas player during his three-season stint until 2020.
He was the leading run-scorer during their victorious campaign in 2019, hitting 430 runs at a strike rate of 143.81, a performance which earner him the the Player-of-the-Tournament award.
However, Gladiators have fallen on harder times since, as the last four years have all seen them finish outside the playoff positions. While they had the same coach all along, they have also stuck with the same captain in Sarfaraz Ahmed, with no suggestion yet that a change will be made on that front.
Watson, 42, retired from all cricket in 2020. He joined IPL franchise Delhi Capitals as assistant coach in 2022, serving alongside his former Australia team-mate Ricky Ponting. Earlier this year, he was appointed head coach of Major League Cricket franchise San Francisco Unicorns. While Watson played 59 Tests for Australia, it was in limited-overs cricket where he was at his best.