Melbourne: A month after he was disciplined during the disastrous tour of India, Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has stepped down as the team's vice-captain to focus his "attention on scoring runs and taking wickets".
     
"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," Watson said in a statement.
     
"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," he added.
     
Watson said he wants to focus on becoming a better player. "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," he said.
     
Watson said his captain Michael Clarke, coach Mickey Arthur and Cricket Australia were supportive of his decision to quit the post.
     
"Yesterday 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.

(Agencies)

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