Shane Watson has been appointed captain of Rajasthan Royals for the 2014 edition of the IPL. Watson will take over from Rahul Dravid, who retired from all forms of cricket after leading Royals to the Champions League T20 final in October 2013. Dravid formed one-third of the core group that settled on the decision, along with head coach Paddy Upton and Royals CEO Raghu Iyer.
Watson has been with Royals from the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, and was one of the five players retained by the franchise for this year's tournament. He has represented them in 61 matches, the second-most after Siddharth Trivedi. He has scored 1887 runs for his franchise at an average of 38.51 and a strike-rate of 143.82, and has also taken 54 wickets at an economy-rate of 7.27. Watson was instrumental in Royals' title win in 2008 and was named Player of the Tournament for his 472 runs and 17 wickets.
"I am honoured to lead the Rajasthan Royals, an extraordinary team which has always given me amazing opportunities," Watson said. "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"
Dravid will continue to be involved with Royals in a mentoring role, and will guide youth and talent development initiatives for the franchise. "Watson has been with the team since the first season and is familiar with the players and the staff," he said. "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."