Sydney: Australian cricketer Shane Watson has said that the real reason behind his quitting the vice-captainship was not only to focus on his own game but also to allow the team to plan for the future beyond captain Michael Clarke.
Watson, who had announced that he would be standing down as deputy in all three formats ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy and the Ashes series, said that he was not pushed into the decision, but felt that it would permit Australia to speed up the search for the country`s next Test captain.
Almost three months younger than Clarke, Watson said that although he stood in as captain in the fourth Test against India, he knows that their closeness in age means Australia must begin to look beyond the team`s two most senior players.
Stating that the age factor had played a major role behind his decision, Watson said that he has chosen the right time to step down and allow the succession process to move forward, adding that he did not feel pressurised by Cricket Australia (CA) to take the decision to step down from his post.
According to Watson, he is realistic with the team, himself and the structure, adding that CA is looking out for a few future leaders of the Australian cricket team at the moment.
Watson, who has resumed bowling in the nets with Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals, indicated that a return to the all-rounder`s role is his best hope of retaining a spot in the side in England, adding that he needs to have a consistent performance to retain his place in the team.
Watson further said that his decision to relinquish the vice-captaincy will give him extra time to improve his form and spend time with his young family.