Shane Watson has stood down from the vice-captaincy of the Australian test cricket team, citing a need to 'focus' his attention on scoring runs and taking wickets.
"I think it's the right time for a change for both the team and me," Watson, 31, said in a statement released by Cricket Australia on Saturday.
"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."
Michael Clarke is the current captain of the Australian test team.