Watson happy for new home comforts on RCB debut
Shane Watson played his first game for Royal Challengers Bangalore Tuesday night - a 45-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad - and enjoyed something he hadn't had for a couple of IPL seasons: a home crowd. His old team, Rajasthan Royals, had to shift their home games from Jaipur to Ahmedabad in 2014 and 2015 due to a dispute between the Rajasthan Cricket Association and the BCCI. Watson was pleased to now have that comfort back in 2016.
"More than anything, it's a really nice feeling to have the home crowd," Watson said. "For Rajasthan, over the last two or three years, we haven't had a home ground. We never played in Jaipur. We had a lot of success there and the fans were incredible there. So the thing that really stood out for me the most - and even while driving to the ground - was the incredible support that RCB have and it's a really nice feeling to be part of such a strong franchise.
"The support that the franchise gets and the quality and caliber of players as well [makes it] a privilege to be involved with. And if it wasn't going to be with Rajasthan Royals, like I have for the previous eight years, I'm very thrilled to be here at RCB."
It wasn't the only revelation waiting for Watson at Royal Challengers. It appears he and Chris Gayle have had some time work past some well-documented differences.
"We've had a couple of commercials together as well in the lead up to this first game and its given us a bit of down time just to be able to get to know each other a little bit better again after obviously a few run-ins that we've had in the past.
"It's amazing how the world works. I'm seeing a different side to Chris instead of just playing against him. It's just a really nice thing and that's the beauty of the game of cricket and the opportunities that I'm so fortunate to have playing in different franchises and different teams around the world. You get to play against some of your arch-enemies and certain people you've had run-ins with throughout your time, so it's actually a really nice thing."
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo