Mumbai, April 11: Rajasthan Royals Director of Cricket and Head Coach, Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara, is very pleased with Ravichandran Ashwin’s “sacrifice” for the team’s cause, after the cricketer retired in the match against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Sunday to allow a better finisher to come in and touch the ball several times to increase his score.
Whether Ashwin planned it or not, but after driving off Avesh Khan to cover a single, he kept running after completing the run and stopped only after reaching the locker room. The fact that Riyan Parag came out to bat immediately means the team expected such a move from Ashwin.
Ashwin’s batting partner at the time, Shimron Hetmyer hit Khan for six from successive deliveries and Parag also hit a big six before coming out, going for another big in the penultimate delivery of the match to boost RR’s score to 165 for six. .
The winners of the inaugural IPL then restricted LSG to 162/8 for a narrow three-race win.
Royals coach Sangakkara praised Ashwin, saying: “Ashwin himself was also asking from the field, and we had discussed it just before that, about what we would do. I thought about the way Ashwin handled that situation, coming on (in the 10th plus) under pressure, the way he hit to support the team. And finally, (he) sacrificed himself in terms of being retired, (which) was just magnificent,” Sangakkara said.
“And then he went out there and backed it up with a great, great bowling effort,” he added.
The successful tactic used by the Royals in the IPL in Sunday’s game at Wankhede has won praise and could become a regular fixture in over-20 cricket ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year, he felt. ICC on Monday.
The law states that retired batsmen can only resume their innings later due to injury or illness, unless there is the consent of the opposing captain. Law 25.4.3 states, in part: “If a batsman retires for any reason other than (injury or illness)…that batsman’s innings may be resumed only with the consent of the opposing captain. If for any reason his / his inning is not resumed, that batsman must be recorded as ‘Retired – out'”. Commentators around the world have also praised the move, with many believing it will become commonplace in over-20 cricket by the time the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup kicks off in Australia in October-November.
The tactic was also used successfully by the Sydney Sixers during Australia’s Big Bash League final earlier this year. On that occasion, the Sixers decided to retire injured batter Jordan Silk with two runs required from the last delivery when Jay Lenton came into the box to help scramble the winning runs.