It was a day when R Ashwin would hog all the headlines, it was always meant to be. And this started when Prime Minister Narendra Modi tagged several eminent sporting personalities urging them to create awareness for higher voting. Along with the off-spinner, Shikhar Dhawan, Dipa Karmakar, Hima Das and Sakshi Malik were also tagged by the PM Modi.
Responding to the message, Ashwin said that Indian cricketers, who were involved in the IPL, and who were forever on the move owing to playing commitments, should be allowed to cast their votes in the upcoming general elections at cities where they might be when polling is held in their respective constituencies.
"I would also like to request you @narendramodi sir to enable every cricketer playing in the IPL to be allowed to cast their votes from which ever place they find themselves at," Ashwin wrote in response to the PM's tweet.
On the cricket field, @SDhawan25, @BhuviOfficial and @ashwinravi99 shine with their incredible talent and absolute commitment towards their team.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 24, 2019
I urge them to encourage greater voter awareness and voter participation.
Young India will follow their lead. #VoteKar
Although, this tweet was directed to the Prime Minister, elections across the country are conducted by the Election Commission of India and this request could well be a bridge too far for the ECI to even consider.
Ashwin takes centre stage in Jaipur
The captain, who was leading Kings XI Punjab, grabbed all the headlines in the fourth match of the ongoing Indian Premier League when he mankaded Jos Buttler, an incident which has sparked furious debates all over the cricketing fraternity.
For the player, though, it was well within the rules and nothing to be too apologetic about. The incident happened on the 5th ball of the 13th over, when Ashwin paused in his delivery stride, waited for Jos Buttler to leave his crease and whipped off the bails.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Ashwin said of the incident: "Look, it was very instinctive. On my part, it was very instinctive. It was not planned or anything like that. It's there within the rules of the game. I don't understand where the spirit of the game comes, naturally, if it's there in the rules it's there."
However, former Australian spinner Shane Warne has slammed Ashwin for his actions and called it a disgrace for the sport. He even asked the BCCI to take account of the situation as the IPL was a global event and the incident set a very bad precedent.
"So disappointed in @ashwinravi99 as a Captain & as a person. All captains sign the #IPL wall & agree to play in the spirit of the game. RA had no intention of delivering the ball - so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to u BCCI - this a not a good look for the #IPL," Warne wrote on Twitter.
So disappointed in @ashwinravi99 as a Captain & as a person. All captains sign the #IPL wall & agree to play in the spirit of the game. RA had no intention of delivering the ball - so it should have been called a dead ball. Over to u BCCI - this a not a good look for the #IPL— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) March 25, 2019