Ravichandran Ashwin became the first player to be ‘retired’ in an Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday, making way for a more attacking hitter to speed up the scoring, and pundits predict more teams will adopt the tactic.
Promoted to number six in the Rajasthan Royals order, Ashwin hit 28 out of 23 before intentionally leaving in 19th, much to the astonishment of rival Lucknow Super Giants players. Riyan Parag came on at bat and wasted little time, hitting eight on four, including a six, as Rajasthan won the game by three runs.
“It was the right time to do it,” head coach Kumar Sangakkara told reporters after Rajasthan recorded their third win in four matches to top the points table. “Ashwin himself was also asking on the pitch, and we had discussed that just before, about what we were going to do.
“I thought the way Ashwin handled that situation, walking under pressure, the way he punched in support of the team and then ultimately sacrificed himself in terms of a takedown, was just magnificent.” Sonam Tongbay of Bhutan is the only batsman to be ‘retired’ in an international match, facing Maldives at the 2019 South Asian Games.
Fans on social media found it fitting that Ashwin was involved in the scheme. The 35-year-old off-spinner has taken leg breaks in National cricket to fool batsmen and has even been known to try to put out non-strikers if they back up too far.
West Indies versatile player Carlos Brathwaite is among those who believe more teams could use the Twenty20 cricket tactic. “I think it was brave from Rajasthan,” Brathwaite told the ESPNcricinfo website.
“I think in the future it’s something that we’ll probably see a lot more of… It’s something that will be part of the game.”
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)