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  5. 'I sat in my room alone, was crying': Ravichandran Ashwin recalls difficult time of family emergency

'I sat in my room alone, was crying': Ravichandran Ashwin recalls difficult time of family emergency

Ravichandran Ashwin's life saw a difficult time during India vs England 3rd Test in Rajkot as he faced a family medical emergency. Ashwin had to leave the team after day 2 as his mother had collapsed and was in a hospital. Ashwin has recalled that evening.

Written By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Published on: March 12, 2024 23:48 IST
Ravichandran Ashwin
Image Source : GETTY Ravichandran Ashwin.

Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin has recalled the difficult time of a family emergency when he had to leave the team mid-way in the 3rd Test against England in Rajkot. Ashwin had to travel back home after getting to know about his mother, who suffered a medical emergency.

Ashwin had to leave the game after the end of the second day, the same day when he completed his milestone of 500 Test wickets. However, the world turned upside down for him after a phonecall with his wife Prithi Ashwin. His wife informed him that his mother had collapsed. 

Ashwin has now recalled the entire evening of day 2 of the Rajkot Test and revealed how captain Rohit Sharma and the BCCI helped him out in this tough time. "After getting my 500th wicket, I was waiting for a call or a message from my parents and my wife. It was 7 pm and I found it strange that they hadn't called me. I thought 'Maybe they are giving some interviews and responding to congratulatory messages," Ashwin said on his YouTube channel on Tuesday.

He said that he called his wife at 7 PM. "But around 7 pm, I called my wife before going to shower. My parents did not pick up the calls. And I found my wife's voice was breaking. She asked me to move away from my teammates and then she told me that my mother collapsed after a severe headache.

"I kind of blanked out. I did not know how to react. I didn't know how to ask her a question. I was crying, but I was trying to make sure no one saw me crying. I don't why I felt like that but it was instinctive. I felt blank. I sat in my room alone. I was crying," he added.

His wife then also called the team physio. Ashwin said he was not able to find a balance to determine what to do as he was in the middle of a Test match and had a family emergency too. "After a few minutes, I think I was not reachable on the phone. So my wife told the team physio to check on me. After that, I think she must have told Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid. I didn't know what to tell them. I wasn't able to strike a balance. I was thinking that they picked me in the XI and if I go home midway, then there will only be 10 members. The series was 1-1, and England were slightly on the upper hand. I was thinking if I go home, India will be one bowler short," he said. 

"At the same time, I thought when was the last time I spoke to my mother? I had that thought in my mind and I made up my mind that I should go and meet her. I asked people back home whether she was conscious at that time. They said that the doctors didn't allow them to meet her. I was looking for flights, but there was no flight in the evening from Rajkot to Chennai. I was not sure of what to do," he added.

Ashwin reveals Rohit's support to him

The maestro spinner then also revealed how the Indian captain Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara supported him. "Rohit and Rahul bhai came to my room. Rohit saw me thinking and he said 'what are you thinking about? Just pack your bags and leave now'. He told me that he would try and arrange a charter flight for me," he added.

"A big thank you to Cheteshwar Pujara. He spoke to a lot of people and arranged for the charter flight. I didn't know how I spent 2 hours in that flight back home. Our team physio Kamlesh is my good friend. What Rohit did was beautiful. Rohit asked Kamlesh to join me on my flight to Chennai. I told Rohit that Kamlesh is one of the two physios with the team and how he could send him with me when the team was playing a crucial Test.

"Rohit is like 'That's okay'. But I told Kamlesh to stay back with the team. However, when I went down to the lobby, Kamlesh and a security person were standing there. Rohit was calling Kamlesh and keeping a tab on me throughout the journey back home," he narrated.

Ashwin was "gobsmacked" by Rohit's gesture. "I was gobsmacked. I couldn't even imagine the gesture from Rohit. If I were captain, I would ask anyone in that position to go home. There's no second thought in that. But, to keep a constant tab on me, calling Kamlesh and asking him to accompany me. Unbelievable!" Ashwin added.

The off-spinner called him an outstanding leader and a special person. "I see an outstanding leader in Rohit Sharma. He is something special. For this kind heart, he has won so many titles, including 5 IPL titles. God doesn't give easily. I hope Rohti achieves something even more big. I will pray to God for that," he said.

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