Mumbai, April 11 (IANS) Rajasthan Royals’ director of cricket and head coach, Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara, is mighty pleased with Ravichandran Ashwin’s “sacrifice” for the team’s cause, after the cricketer retired himself out in the match against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Sunday to allow a better finisher to come in and tonk the ball a few times to boost their score.
Whether it had been planned by Ashwin or not, but after pushing Avesh Khan to cover for a single, he kept running after completing the run and stopped only after reaching the dressing room. The fact that Riyan Parag walked out to bat straightaway means the team was expecting such a move from Ashwin.
Ashwin’s batting partner at that time, Shimron Hetmyer struck Khan for sixes of successive deliveries and Parag too struck a big six before getting out, going for another big one off the penultimate delivery of the match to boost RR’s score to 165 for six.
The winners of the inaugural IPL edition then restricted LSG to 162/8 for a narrow three-run win.
Royals coach Sangakkara praised Ashwin, saying, “Ashwin himself was asking from the field as well, and we had discussed it just before that, as to what we would do. I thought the way Ashwin handled that situation, walking in (in the 10th over) under pressure, the way he batted to support the team. And then finally, (he) sacrificed himself in terms of being retired out, (which) was just magnificent,” said Sangakkara.
“And then he went out in the field and backed it up with an excellent, excellent 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 20-over cricket prior to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year, felt ICC on Monday.
The law states that retired batters can only resume their innings later in the innings due to injury or illness, unless there is consent from the opposing captain. Law 25.4.3 states, in part: “If a batter retires for any reason other than (injury or illness) … the innings of that batter may be resumed only with the consent of the opposing captain. If for any reason his/her innings is not resumed, that batter is to be recorded as ‘Retired – out’.”
Commentators across the world also praised the move, with many believing it will become a regular occurrence in 20-over cricket by the time the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup commences in Australia in October-November.
The tactic was also successfully used by the Sydney Sixers during the final of Australia’s Big Bash League earlier this year. On that occasion the Sixers decided to retire injured batter Jordan Silk with two runs required from the final delivery as Jay Lenton came to the crease to help scramble the winning runs.