Watson signs with Sixers
Shane Watson, the Australian vice-captain, has signed with the Sydney Sixers in the Twenty20 Big Bash League, meaning he will take part in the competition in the gap between home Test series against New Zealand and India.
By signing with the Sixers, Watson will stay close to the SCG, but will need to manage his workload carefully amid a raft of international commitments between August and February.
Stuart Clark, the Sixers general manager, said he signed Watson with the knowledge that issues of fitness or fatigue may mean Watson's role in the first BBL is limited to one match - or none. However Clark wanted to establish a rapport with Watson in the knowledge that future summers might be more amenable to his participation.
"We expect him to be fully fit and ready to play when the competition comes around, but at the same time we want Shane to have a long-term relationship with the Sixers," Clark told ESPNcricinfo. "As someone who has played international cricket I know how demanding it can be, so we'll take it on a case by case basis and work out what is best with Shane."
Clark said it was possible an agreement would be struck to cover the cost of Watson's personal physio needs, mirroring the role played by John Gloster, the Rajasthan physio, whenever Watson has been in India on international duty.
"We'll tailor something to what Shane needs, we're well aware of his requirements and the needs for regular physio to keep him fit," Clark said.
Mitchell Johnson, another cricketer expected to be battling a hefty international schedule, has elected not to sign with any BBL team, while the Test captain Michael Clarke is yet to declare his intentions.
"When Stuart rang me about joining the Sixers I was excited about the type of team that he was building and the quality group of players that he was putting together," Watson said.
"It's great to be based at my favourite place in the world to play cricket, the SCG, and I hope that I can add something to the squad and be part of a winning culture."
Clark was similarly enthusiastic about Watson's presence in the squad, which means he will have to choose between the Sixers and the Rajasthan Royals of the Indian Premier League should both qualify for next year's T20 Champions League.
"Shane is a quality cricketer and we are delighted that he has chosen to join the Sixers," Clark said.
"He brings a combination of experience and class, and will help provide the leadership that will teach our younger players what it takes to win. He is a match-winner with both bat and ball, and a quality human being."
The squads so far
Adelaide Strikers Aiden Blizzard, Cameron Borgas, Lee Carseldine, Tom Cooper, Adam Crosthwaite, Theo Doropoulos, Brendan Drew, Callum Ferguson, Daniel Harris, Michael Klinger, Nathan Lyon, Aaron O'Brien, Gary Putland, Kane Richardson. Overseas players: Kieron Pollard.
Brisbane Heat Ryan Broad, Nick Buchanan, Daniel Christian, Ben Cutting, Peter Forrest, Ryan Harris, Nathan Hauritz, James Hopes, Chris Lynn, Michael Neser. Overseas players: Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori.
Hobart Hurricanes Travis Birt, Mark Cosgrove, Xavier Doherty, Luke Feldman, Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hogan, Phil Jaques, Matt Johnston, Jason Krejza, Nick Kruger, Ben Laughlin, Rhett Lockyear, Tim Paine, RIcky Ponting. Overseas players: Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Owais Shah.
Melbourne Renegades Ryan Carters, Aaron Finch, Shane Harwood, Aaron Heal, Jayde Herrick, Michael Hill, Brad Hodge, Glenn Maxwell, Andrew McDonald, Brenton McDonald, Dirk Nannes, Nathan Reardon, Will Sheridan, Shaun Tait. Overseas players: Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi.
Melbourne Stars George Bailey, James Faulkner, Jon Holland, David Hussey, Alex Keath, Rob Quiney, Peter Siddle, Chris Simpson, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade, Cameron White. Overseas players: Luke Wright.
Perth Scorchers Tom Beaton, Michael Beer, Mark Cameron, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Michael Hussey, Simon Katich, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Marcus North, Luke Pomersbach, Nathan Rimmington, Luke Ronchi. Overseas players: Paul Collingwood, Herschelle Gibbs.
Sydney Sixers Ed Cowan, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Brett Lee, Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Ben Rohrer, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Shane Watson.
Sydney Thunder Sean Abbott, Tim Armstrong, Nic Bills, Doug Bollinger, Luke Butterworth, Scott Coyte, Tim Cruickshank, Matthew Day, Luke Doran, Ben Dunk, Jason Floros, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Craig Philipson, Daniel Smith, David Warner. Overseas players: Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo