Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson is hoping to make a big impression in his debut T10 season as the mainstay of the brand new T10 League Karachians franchise.
The burly top-order right-handed batsman who is also a capable right-arm medium pacer is one of the most sought-after players in the shorter formats around the world.
Watson will be making his maiden appearance in the T10 format that held its inaugural edition last December.
"I am really excited about this opportunity of playing for the Karachians, the players who played the tournament last year really enjoyed it and said it was very well organized," he said. "The new format is action packed and I as an all-rounder would love to make an important contribution to my team."
Watson added that representing a city like Karachi was a big honour and he hopes to make the people of the city proud with his performances.
"I hope I can make the people of Karachi smile," the Aussie said. "I also look forward to seeing the Karachites based in Sharjah/Dubai at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium during the tournament, hopefully we will get their support."
The globe-trotting Watson is keen to wield the willow in the T10 format as he feels bowlers are at a disadvantage in the 10-over-a-side game.
"I would definitely want to bat rather than bowl as bowlers are in for a hiding! (laughs) especially with the small boundaries," he said. "Having said that, the format I feel will really help me further develop my game as you have to be switched on both with bat and ball from the outset else you end up letting your team down."
The 37-year-old, who represented Australia in 307 internationals across the three major international formats, has some great memories of his duels with Pakistani players.
"I loved the challenge of playing against Pakistan in any format," he recalled. "The players from there are hugely talented and can be unstoppable when they get on top. I have some fond memories like my first Test century was against them while the World Cup 2015 quarter-final match was another massive challenge especially my battle with Wahab Riaz."
Watson feels that Pakistanis are passionate for cricket and that he has thoroughly enjoyed playing against them or playing for Pakistan-based franchises.
"The people from Pakistan are lovely and very friendly," he said. "I have had a great time playing with or against them. The franchise-based events are a huge opportunity for learning different cultures and I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences with Pakistanis."