Jaipur, Apr 27: For Mark Taylor IPL is a distraction for young players, but his compatriot Shane Watson says the league has something unique to offer as the youngsters get to rub shoulders with legends of the game which helps them learn not only about the game, but also life.
Taylor has said that millions of rupees being offered by IPL would distract youngsters from the goal of playing Test cricket as who will be bothered about playing for the national side, if someone can make million in two months time.
Watson though feels that it was not always a perfect world and one needs to change according to time.
"The game of cricket has evolved and the environment has changed now. With Tests, ODIs and T20s around, you have to make adjustments in mindset too. We need month long preparations for adapting to Indian conditions and Chennai like wickets, but just after one practice match we have to play a Test match. IPL gave me a great opportunity, worked as a catalyst and I could blossom as a cricketer as well as a person. There may be difference in opinion but the IPL has positives too," he said.
"Nothing can be ensured. We can't change the times. The West Indian team during the 70s and 80s used to be very strong with a plethora of batting and bowling talent. Australians were strong in 90s and early 2000. This is part of cycle. Past few years have been difficult for us and it is true that we don't have the kind of batting depth we want but we have to choose the best from the available talent.
"But the youngsters like Maxwell are getting an opportunity to play along the likes of Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh. He can gain invaluable experience not only for cricket but also about life. Learning about each others culture in this amalgam of cricketers of different countries is wonderful," he said.
Watson, who started bowling again recently, said he needed more time to get back into his best shape.
"Under a plan I did not bowl almost for four months and it is very exciting to bowl again. I don't have high expectations. I need some time in execution of skills and need to fine tune my body too so that I might contribute with my batting and bowling," he said.
Talking about the happenings during Test series against India, Watson thanked all for their support to him.
"It was fortunate or unfortunate that I had to fly back to Australia. I wanted to be with my new born baby and share that wonderful experience, but unfortunately it was not the right moment to leave the team. I want to thank all those who supported me during that difficult time. I really was overwhelmed and feel their support has given me more strength."
The all-rounder recently quit vice captaincy of the Australian team and he feels that he may not get to lead the side ever.
"It was my decision and I might have reduced my chances of leading the Australian side in future but I feel contribution is more important. I want to be the best Test player that I can be and think I can do that by focusing my attention on scoring runs and taking wickets," he said.
Talking about the Ashes series, the all rounder said that he was excited to be part of the Australian team.
"It would be really exciting. It is the ultimate series and I want to contribute both with bat and ball for my team's cause," he said.