R Ashwin touched by Rohit’s ‘beautiful’ gesture in Rajkot – ‘I would give my life for him on the field’

The Indian all-rounder shares what happened during those 48 hours when he had to leave the team in the middle of a Test to visit his mother in the hospital.

ESPNcricinfo Staff

R Ashwin on Rohit Sharma: ‘He is an exceptional leader with a heart of gold’ BCCI

A feeling R Ashwin has expressed immense gratitude to “outstanding” India captain Rohit Sharma for his leadership and “heart of gold” during last month’s Rajkot Test against England.

Ashwin, who took his 500th wicket and played his 100th Test in the series against England, had to temporarily withdraw of the third Test in Rajkot due to a health emergency involving his mother. He left his teammates after the second day’s match and joined them late on the fourth day.

“It all started on the second day, although it’s a bit blurry now,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel. “I was on 499 wickets, I think, and I was hoping to reach the milestone in the second Test in Vizag, but that wasn’t to be. But on the second day in Rajkot, I finally got Zak Crawley. This wasn’t particularly great ball, but I finally got to the landmark.”

“After the match ended, I had agreed to do a few interviews and went to the press area. I had just received my 500th wicket, so I was waiting for a call from my wife or my father. I was a little surprised not to hear from them, since it was almost 7 p.m. But I figured they must be busy with interviews and responding to congratulatory messages, so I didn’t pay much attention to it .

“Having been unable to reach my parents, I finally managed to get my wife on the phone. Her voice was cracking. I told her I was going to take a shower and she asked me to go somewhere alone left, away from my teammates. She said my mother had collapsed after a severe headache.

Ashwin said he could not immediately process the news, especially with the Test and series at stake. England had finished the second day at 207 for 2 in reply to India’s 445, with the series at tie 1-1.

“I just lost consciousness. I don’t remember what I did, but I was crying,” Ashwin said. “I didn’t know what to ask him. I didn’t want anyone to see me cry. It was a knee-jerk reaction. I sat alone in my room, not knowing what to do.

“On the one hand, I knew I had to go home, but there was also the question of how to let my teammates down. I couldn’t find that balance. I didn’t know what to say to the coach or I was in the XI, and if I go home now we will end up with only 10 players, giving England the advantage.

“But I was also thinking about my mother. And when was the last time I spoke to her. In my mind, I knew I had to go home and see her, but the doctors were informing us that no one was allowed to come in. meet her.”

R Ashwin with his family on the morning of his 100th Test BCCI

It was at that moment, Ashwin said, that Rohit and head coach Rahul Dravid walked into the dressing room and made a simple decision.

“I think since I wasn’t answering my phone, my wife must have called Rohit and Dravid to tell them the news. Rohit came in, saw me thinking and just said, ‘What are you doing? ? You must leave immediately. “Please, just pack your bags and leave.”

The next challenge was finding a quick way home, but with no flight to Chennai scheduled until the next morning, Ashwin got help from an unexpected source.

“I also have to say a big thank you to Cheteshwar Pujara, who spoke to a lot of people and arranged a chartered flight for me.

“Our team physiotherapist Kamlesh Jain is a good friend. Rohit told Kamlesh to accompany me on the flight to Chennai, although Kamlesh is one of only two physiotherapists in the team.

“I told Kamlesh, ‘It’s okay, please stay back’. But when I boarded the flight, Kamlesh and a security guard were already there. Moreover, Rohit n I kept calling Kamlesh regularly to check in on me and see how I am doing. This moved me deeply. In a selfish society like ours, this man who decides to take a moment to think about the well-being of others , he’s really great.

“Rohit is a special person, an exceptional leader, with a heart of gold. I have seen it with my own eyes. I would give my life for him on the field, that’s the kind of captain he is. C It is because of these qualities that he has won so many titles, including five IPLs. I pray to God that Rohit achieves more in his career and life.

Ashwin’s stay in Chennai was brief and after being informed that his mother would recover, he knew he had to join his teammates in Rajkot. “My mother was surprised to see me at first. And that’s the difference between parents of previous generations and those of today. She only wanted what was best for me. And she wanted me to be with the team. Even under those circumstances, she continued to think of me.”

With the help of BCCI secretary Jay Shah, Ashwin was able to take another chartered flight from Chennai to Rajkot, and finally joined his teammates on the fourth day. India won the Rajkot Test by 434 runs to take a 2-1 lead and eventually won the series 4-1 in Dharamsala with Ashwin taking nine wickets in his 100th Test.

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