One of the biggest stars in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Shane Watson has been pleasantly surprised by the kind of platform that young players in Tamil Nadu are being provided through the Tamil Nadu Twenty20 Premier League. The all-rounder feels that it is one of the best in the world.
Speaking on his first impression of the TNPL, Watson said: "I'm really blown away at how incredibly well-organised the tournament is. The quality of cricket is of a high standard. It's just a great launching pad for these young cricketers in Tamil Nadu to be able to show their skills. It's inspiring hopefully for the next generation to realise that there's an opportunity available and if you love what you do and work very hard. So, I think it's a great way to make youngsters understand it's within reach to achieve your dreams."
Watson feels that even with Chennai Super Kings (CSK), it is all about smooth management and credit for that goes to the trio of N. Srinivasan, skipper MS Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming.
"My experience with Chennai Super Kings has been very special and welcoming. I've played a lot of leagues for franchises around the world, whether that's here in India or other parts of the world. There's no doubt that CSK is a very slick operation with how it is run, on and off the field. And everything comes down to the leaders, with how Mr N Srinivasan allows the team to be run by the franchise; with MS Dhoni and Stephen Fleming, who I believe are the best captain-coach combination in the world."
"Obviously, they have a lot of history with working together as well, it is an amazing dynamic these guys have got and they know how to get the best of all the players around them. And also the coaching staff. So, it is really a privilege to be able to play for CSK. I have had an amazing time in the last couple of years. We've had a lot of success as well, which is a nice bonus. There aren't any secret theories as to why they are so successful. It's just because it's such a great franchise and such a great operation," he said.
Watson said that the love for the game has kept him going even post-retirement as he plays in various T20 leagues across the world.
"The love for the game keeps me going. I absolutely love playing, I love the opportunities that I have had throughout my career to be able to play for the teams that I have had and now to continue playing for some awesome franchise and awesome tournaments as well. So for me I still love the challenge of playing, I am still definitely learning all the time. I love the challenges. To be able to get to know Dhoni and Fleming is certainly one of the highlights of my career across any team I have played yet," he explained.
Asked if he feels that the Aussies can make it 2-0 in the Ashes, Watson said: "That's wishful thinking. It's so incredibly hard to be able to win away from home. It's not just the Ashes, for most teams winning away is looking impossible now. So for us to get off to such a great start, winning the first Test match it's been amazing, especially Steve Smith. For him to come straight back in and hit the ground sprinting and single-handedly get Australia that win is incredible. England can be pretty good at panicking at certain times, it's going to be a true test of what their make up's like as a team after their World Cup win and how they are able to bring things together and turn it around quickly."