Mumbai: Rajasthan Royals on Monday appointed star Australian all-rounder Shane Watson captain of the Jaipur franchise for the upcoming Indian Premier League in place of the retired Rahul Dravid who was anointed its mentor.
Former India captain Dravid, who retired from all forms of cricket last year, will be involved in all aspects of cricket strategy - mentoring the team and guiding youth and talent development initiatives for the franchise, Royals announced here today.
"I am honoured to lead the Rajasthan Royals, an extraordinary team which has always given me amazing opportunities," said the 32-year-old Australian on his new appointment for the upcoming IPL season scheduled to start next month.
"(Compatriot) Shane Warne and Rahul Dravid had a lot of faith in me while they were captains and gave me opportunities that helped improve my cricket. I hope to live up to the confidence shown in me by the franchise and give our fans an exciting season of cricket," he said.
"I would like to thank our fans for showing trust in me through their votes on the digital medium. The Royals are one big family and I feel very privileged to be a part of such a special franchise," he added about the franchise`s initiative.
"My aim will be to continue playing our best cricket and maintain the winning momentum. We all want to repeat the 2008 IPL success and last season, we were quite close to that. I am confident that we can do it again," he added.
Welcoming Watson`s elevation, Dravid described the burly Aussie as a player with top notch leadership skills. "I would like to congratulate Shane Watson on his appointment as the Captain of the Royals. He is not only one of the world`s best all-rounders, but a leader par excellence," the team`s new mentor said.
"Watson has been with the team since the first season and is familiar with the players and the staff. The Royals Squad is a bunch of extremely energetic and talented players who know their roles perfectly well and I am sure they will thrive under Watson`s inspiring leadership," Dravid added.