Cricket

Ravichandran Ashwin withdraws from IPL to support family over COVID-19


Ashwin’s decision is a major blow for the money-spinning event which is being held behind closed doors and runs until May 30.

Ravichandran Ashwin withdrew from the Indian Premier League on Sunday to support his family during the COVID-19 pandemic, dealing a significant blow to the glitzy tournament which is taking place despite the country battling rising death rates.

Ashwin, 34, a key Test and ODI player, said he would be taking a break from playing in the lucrative T20 franchise tournament with the Delhi Capitals team.

“My family and extended family are putting up a fight against #COVID19 and I want to support them during these tough times,” Ashwin tweeted.

“I expect to return to play if things go in the right direction. Thank you @DelhiCapitals.”

Ashwin’s decision is a major blow for the money-spinning event which is being held behind closed doors and runs until May 30.

On Sunday, a leading Indian newspaper group suspended coverage of the IPL, calling the tournament “commercialism gone crass” and “incongruous” as the record-breaking pandemic surge grips the country.

Express Publications said in a front-page editorial of its flagship English-language daily, the New Indian Express, that the paper was halting reporting on the Twenty20 event until a “semblance of normalcy is restored”.

Delhi said they supported the decision taken by Ashwin.

“Extending our full support to you in these difficult times, @ashwinravi99 Sending you and your family all the strength and prayers from all of us at Delhi Capitals,” the team tweeted.

Ashwin has played 77 Tests in a 10-year international career as well as 111 ODIs and 46 T20 Internationals.

He has 409 Test wickets, one of just 16 bowlers in history to break the 400-mark. Ashwin’s Twitter account has over 10 million followers. His profile page contains the plea: “Stay home stay safe! Take your vaccine.”



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