The IPL is known for providing entertainment, but it can also shock in equal measure. Well, it certainly did recently, and Ravichandran Ashwin was at the centre of the drama.
In an IPL clash between the Rajasthan Royals and the Lucknow Super Giants, Ashwin employed a unique tactic, as he ‘retired out’ for the Royals. Normally, players would retire if they were hurt and couldn’t physically continue.
Ashwin was tasked with trying to help the Royals rebuild after the top order capitulated and they were reduced to 67-4 in the 10th over. However, Ashwin decided to retire out after making 28 with an impressive strike rate of over 121.
In some ways, the tactic proved to be a masterstroke as the Royals were able to get their innings back on track and Riyan Parag contributed eight runs at a strike rate of 200.
Ashwin’s decision certainly provoked some reaction, with former England Test captain Michael Vaughan, tweeting: “Retired OUT… love it… @rajasthanroyals #IPL2022.”
Retired OUT .. love it .. @rajasthanroyals #IPL2022
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) April 10, 2022
Meanwhile, former West Indies pace bowler Ian Bishop was a bit taken aback by Ashwin’s decision, although he stopped short of criticising the all-rounder.
He said: “Ashwin retired out is fascinating T20 tactics. T20 is causing us to rethink the way we conceive the game of in the 21st century.”
Here is what Irfan Pathan said,
First ever in #IPL history. Retired out, who else but #Ashwin
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) April 10, 2022
The IPL has made huge strides over the past few years and it is one of those unmissable cricket tournaments. This is particularly the case when it comes to the betting markets. All the top operators are flooded with some of the best betting lines, that covers everything from the match winner to unique props that may not be readily available elsewhere.
And it seems conceivable that there will be more markets added in the future by some of the leading sites across the world for the IPL, including bet365 in Australia, which is one of the most innovative bookmakers in the business, and they always trying to push the boundary (excuse the pun!).
As far as Ashwin is concerned, he became just the fourth player in T20 history to retire out. Of course, it was an unusual decision taken, but as Bishop said, perhaps it will reshape our attitudes to the IPL. Whether it is right or wrong is a completely different matter. Although there will be some that will harbor strong reservations, we should applaud those that like to move the needle, and in the case of Ashwin, he could become an IPL pioneer.