Shane Watson has been appointed president of the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) at the body's annual general meeting, and will now head the extended ten-member board, which includes three other new appointments: current players Pat Cummins and Kristen Beams and former player Lisa Sthalekar.
"Through a period of immense change, the players have been, and will continue to be, a strong voice in protecting what's made our game of cricket great, while embracing opportunities that change inevitably brings," Watson said.
The new structure also splits the role of president and chairman, with the latter continuing to be held by former Australia wicketkeeper Greg Dyer. A number of prominent cricketers are elected directors: apart from Beams and Cummins, they are Aaron Finch, Alyssa Healy and Moises Henriques.
I am truly honoured to be elected as the President of the ACA as it evolves into the future. I have big shoes to fill with the people who have gone before me and I am super excited about this opportunity to continue to give back to the game that has given me so much. pic.twitter.com/U8q4dmswWS— Shane Watson (@ShaneRWatson33) November 11, 2019
The appointed directors are Sthalekar, Neil Maxwell and Janet Torney, whose work has primarily been in the fields of economics, investment and corporate governance.
One of the recent Cricket Australia initiatives Watson brought up for special praise was the parental policy for women cricketers.
"This policy, amid a host of other changes, assures Australian women that cricket is a sport which can now support you and your family," he said. "And for girls coming through who love sport, like my daughter, it says that cricket is a sport where you will be able to have a career."
Watson, an allrounder who battled a fragile body for the best part of his career and became more of a specialist batsman by the end of his run, played 59 Tests, 190 ODIs and 58 T20Is for Australia between 2002 and 2016. A popular pick for T20 franchises around the world for his big hitting, Watson has continued to play the format, last turning out for Chennai Super Kings in the 2019 edition of the IPL.
Earlier this year, he announced his retirement for professional cricket in Australia but has kept his options open as far as deals outside his home country are concerned.