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R Ashwin admits considering retirement: ‘A lot of people were backed, why not me?’

Prolonged injuries, lack of support and backing during the period between 2018-2020 forced India’s star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to contemplate retirement.

In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Ashwin revealed that it was one of the most difficult times for him as a cricketer. The first phase, he said, was right after the England series in 2018, followed by abdomen tear in Australia later that year after the Adelaide Test.

“Between 2018 and 2020, I contemplated giving up the sport at various points. I thought, ‘I have put in a lot of effort, but it is not coming through.’ The harder I tried, the farther it felt. Especially with athletic pubalgia and the patellar tendonitis – I used to bowl six balls and then I used to be gasping for breath. And there would be pain all over the place. So you needed to make adjustments. When the knee pain got excruciating, the next ball I would probably jump less. When I jumped less, obviously the force needs to be produced through the core and the back and the shoulders, so the pubalgia would act up. So the third ball I would be extra side-on to try to use the hips. By the time I was done with six balls, I would be like, ‘I need a break here.'”

Ashwin, however, said that it was not just the injuries and their consequential exhaustion that led him to consider retirement but also how those around him were not sensitive enough to his injuries.


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