IND vs ENG: Ravichandran Ashwin withdraws from Rajkot Test

India off-spinner R Ashwin has withdrawn from the ongoing third Test against England at the Niranjan Shah Stadium in Rajkot due to a family medical emergency. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has released an official statement regarding the same extending its full support to the cricketer and his family.

The BCCI has also urged the fans and the media to not speculate anything and requested to respect the privacy of Ashwin and his family. “The BCCI extends its heartfelt support to the champion cricketer and his family. The health and well-being of the players and their loved ones are of utmost importance. The Board requests respect for the privacy of Ashwin and his family as they navigate through this challenging time.

“The Board and the team will continue to provide any necessary assistance to Ashwin and will keep the lines of communication open to offer support as needed. Team India appreciates the understanding and empathy of the fans and media during this sensitive period,” the statement from the BCCI read.

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Photo: Twitter

Meanwhile, amidst the board’s request for privacy, BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla confirmed that Ashwin had to rush to Chennai to be with his mother and also wished speedy recovery of her. “Wishing speedy recovery of mother of @ashwinravi99. He has to rush and leave Rajkot test to Chennai to be with his mother,” his tweet read.

Meanwhile, given that the health of his mother is not great, it is still not clear whether he will return for the rest of the series. If he does not, it will mean that India will be without two of their talisman cricketers – Virat Kohli and Ashwin.

Can India replace Ashwin in the Test?

Meanwhile, with Ashwin withdrawn, India will now have to play with only ten players with three days of play still left in the Rajkot Test with no regulations in the ICC playing conditions allowing a player to be replaced in the XI barring concussion.

In reply to India’s 445 in the first innings, England finished the second day at 207/2 in just 35 overs thanks to Ben Duckett’s scintillating ton who is still unbeaten on 133.

However, the highlight of the day was Ashwin getting his 500th wicket in Test cricket. He was left stranded at 499 scalps in the format at the end of the second Test in Visakhapatnam but it didn’t take much time for him to reach the milestone in Rajkot.

Introduced into the attack in the 12th over of the innings, Ashwin took only seven balls to strike as he dismissed Zak Crawley to claim his 500th scalp. The batter went to play the sweep shot and top-edged the ball only for Rajat Patidar at fine-leg to take a catch.


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