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The entire family is built on cricket and to facilitate my career: Ashwin


Ravichandran Ashwin with his grandfather and parents at their residence in Chennai. File.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Lying in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a Chennai hospital, Chitra Ravichandran was slipping in and out of consciousness but she had just one query for her son Ravichandran Ashwin when she saw him by her bedside — “Why did you come?” Hours after becoming only the second Indian bowler after Anil Kumble to take 500 Test wickets, Ashwin rushed back to his home in Chennai during the third game against England in Rajkot after coming to know that his mother had been hospitalised following a blackout.

“When I landed and got to the hospital, my mom was slipping in and out of consciousness, and the first thing she asked me was, ‘Why did you come?’ The next time she was conscious, she said, “I think you should go back because the Test match is happening,” Ashwin told ‘ESPNCricinfo‘ on the eve of his 100th Test.

INFOGRAPHICS | Where Ashwin stands among the bowling pantheon

The off-spinner emotionally recalled how his parents Ravichandran and Chitra worked their “backsides off” to help him realise their collective cricketing dream.

“The entire family is built on cricket and to facilitate my career. It hasn’t been easy. It has been very hard on them. It’s been a big roller-coaster for them — going through the emotions and ups and downs that I myself do,” the 37-year-old said.

Ashwin, at times, did feel that the sport meant more to his family than him.

“I am in the second half of my thirties and my dad still watches a game like he would watch my first international game. It means a lot to them. Compared to what it means to them, it definitely means less to me.”

“They have eliminated anything that comes in the way of my cricket. That has been the sole purpose of their lives ever since I can remember,” he said.

Ashwin’s father is an avid cricket-watcher and the former club cricketer is present even at the most nondescript grounds to watch TNCA first division league.

“It was as if I was living the dream my dad wanted to achieve. Imagine somebody wanted to become a cricketer [but doesn’t]. He gets married, he has a son.”

“And he wants to live the dream through his son, and he does everything from teaching me, to taking notes from my classmates, to taking me to private tuitions to make sure I play the maximum possible amount of cricket while still finishing my education.”

“And this lady [mother] coming from some other hamlet says, ‘I support you because you couldn’t become a cricketer. Let’s support our son to become a cricketer. Let’s work our backsides off’. And the father-in-law supports it, and then the sister-in-law supports it.”



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