Shane Watson steps down as vice-captain of Australia's Test team
Shane Watson has stepped down as vice-captain of Australia, ending his tumultuous term as Michael Clarke's deputy.
Last Updated: 20/04/13 7:14am
The 31-year-old all-rounder struggled for form in Australia's recent 4-0 Test series loss in India and was disciplined for failing to complete a team assignment.
Had Watson not quit the position, it is believed the decision would have been made for him by the Cricket Australia hierarchy.
The decision was announced by CA on Saturday, with a new vice-captain to be selected before the Champions Trophy in June.
Watson, who was captain of the final Test against India in Clarke's absence, said in a CA statement: "Making the decision to step down wasn't easy but it's something I've been thinking about since the Test series against India ended.
"I think it's the right time for a change for both the team and me. I'll be honest and admit I wrestled with the decision for some time, however once I made up my mind, I informed Cricket Australia so the selectors could consider their options for the Ashes given the squads will be announced soon.
"I want to be the best Test player I can be for Australia and think I can do that by stepping down from the vice-captaincy to focus my attention on scoring runs, taking wickets and doing whatever is necessary to help the team achieve success.
"I won't be the vice-captain in title but I think I can still be a leader and strong contributor around the group.
"Yesterday (Friday) I rang John Inverarity, Mickey Arthur and Michael Clarke to advise them of my decision and they respect that decision and agree with me that this is the best outcome for me and the team.
"I thank Cricket Australia for the leadership opportunity over the past two years and I'm really looking forward to this next phase.
"In my conversations with Mickey and Michael I reaffirmed my commitment to the team and support for them as we fight to win back the Ashes and get back to being ranked number one in the world."