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New Delhi, May 23, 2020
Giving the reason for his joining the Delhi Capitals, versatile spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said that he wanted to “strengthen the bowling” and make the team “the front-runners for the IPL title.”
Speaking on the franchise’s official Instagram handle during a live session, the 33-year-old said, “I was coming to a franchise which had qualified for the playoffs last season, and had some very exciting players including Rishabh (Pant) and Prithvi (Shaw). I thought I could use my experience for the franchise and improve the team further. If I could help in strengthening the bowling, we could be the front runners for the title, I came with that intention.”
Talking about the changes in the game once the sport resumes, he said “It may take time to get used to certain things. The entire lockdown and its experience is a way of our world, and nature telling us to pause, and take a back-step. Over the years, we’ve inflicted enough damage on this world, and it’s time to give the earth and nature their dignity back.”
“The same applies to cricket. In the 1970s-80s, wicket celebrations meant fielders standing in their respective positions and clapping. Things like high-fives and fist pumps are more recent, so when we all step out to play again, it may take time to get used to certain things, but we’ll need to adapt. For me as a bowler, putting saliva on the ball comes naturally, and it will take practice to avoid that,” he added.
Ashwin, talked about the need for innovation in modern day cricket. “For me as a cricketer, updating and innovating myself is what keeps me going,” he said.
“Modern day cricket is more challenging, given the amount of technology that’s available, allowing a player’s game to be dissected very easily. So, any innovation, however small that is, can help you up your game. I like to keep trying out different things.”
Referring to the often-ignored issue of mental health in sport, Ashwin said, “During the span of your career, you spend so many years travelling and living in hotels, you start losing relationships on the way. And this is something people don’t understand. I think to avoid that, it is really important to have someone inside the team with whom you can talk about anything – I believe that is very healthy and critical.”
With the country recording an increased number of positive COVID-19 cases on Friday, the spinner signed off with an appeal to the people: “I think it is a crucial phase for all of us, we are seeing a jump in the number of cases, therefore I would request everyone to kindly stay at home with their loved ones, and take all the necessary precautions to maintain social distancing until we have a vaccine.”