Rounder Shane

Legendary Australian All-Rounder Shane Watson to Coach San Francisco Unicorns for 2023 Major League Cricket Season

  • The three-time 50-over Cricket World Cup winner and two-time Indian Premier League (IPL) Player of the Season brings a track record of success at the highest level in both domestic and international cricket to the Bay Area’s T20 team
  • Watson is highly regarded in the sport as a peak performance mentor and recently began his franchise-coaching career at IPL franchise Delhi Capitals
  • The Unicorns will be one of six teams, all featuring world-class players, competing in the historic Major League Cricket competition in Texas this July

The highly-decorated Australian all-rounder Shane Watson will coach the San Francisco Unicorns in the inaugural Major League Cricket season.

Watson, who most recently served as assistant coach of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) Delhi Capitals franchise, is widely regarded as one of the most successful all-rounders in international cricket history.

The 41-year-old’s career highlights include three Cricket World Cup wins, a 150-week streak as the world’s No.1 all-rounder in T20 Internationals (T20I), and two IPL Player of the Season accolades. 

Watson regularly captained the Australia national cricket side during his trophy-laden two-decade career and has played Major League Cricket’s T20 format in the IPL, Australia’s Big Bash League, and the Pakistan Super League (PSL). 

“I’m thrilled to be coaching in the first-ever Major League Cricket season, which will bring a high standard of T20 cricket to the United States,” said Watson. “Our roster is strong and we benefit from invaluable support from Cricket Victoria. I can’t wait for the first ball.”

Watson, who was appointed President of the Australian Cricketers’ Association in 2019, will take control of a team with three International players on the roster, including AustralianT20I world champions Matthew Wade, Aaron Finch, and Marcus Stoinis. The domestic roster, which was populated at Major League Cricket’s historic Inaugural Draft event at Space Center Houston 2023, features 2019 Cricket World Cup champion Liam Plunkett and highly accomplished United States National Cricket Team all-rounder Corey Anderson.

“We’re very excited to bring a coach of Shane’s caliber to our team ahead of the inaugural season,” said San Francisco Unicorns co-owner Anand Rajaraman. “Shane is a proven leader, a champion, and a legend of the sport. His successes as a player will be critical to our fortunes in 2023 and beyond.”

Major League Cricket’s historic inaugural season will begin on July 13, 2023 at the league’s newly-constructed venue, Grand Prairie Stadium, in Grand Prairie, TX. 

“Leadership is a vital ingredient for success in any startup, so we are delighted to bring in a coach with such a strong track record for our inaugural season,” said San Francisco co-owner Venky Harinarayan. “With Shane Watson at the helm and one of the strongest rosters in the league, we have high hopes for our inaugural season and for our mission to popularize cricket in the United States.”

The San Francisco Unicorns will be joined by five other teams from major U.S. metropolitan areas – representing Dallas, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Seattle, and New York City – who will each feature world-renowned cricket stars on their respective rosters alongside the best talent based in the United States, playing the fast-paced and exciting T20 format of the game.

In partnership with MLC, the Unicorns are planning to build a world-class stadium in the Bay Area, which will seat up to 15,000 people and be capable of hosting major international cricket events.