R Ashwin took to Twitter on Thursday to hit back at criticism that has been directed towards him in the aftermath of a spat with Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan and pacer Tim Southee during an Indian Premier League match.
On Tuesday, Delhi Capitals’ Ashwin was involved in a heated exchange with the KKR players after an incident involving an extra run. As per Ashwin’s Tamil Nadu teammate and KKR player Dinesh Karthik, the incident did not please Morgan.
“Look, I know that when Rahul Tripathi threw the ball and it ricocheted off Rishabh Pant’s body, Ashwin called for it and they started to run,” Karthik said at the post-match press conference after his side defeated Delhi Capitals by three wickets.
“I don’t think [Eoin] Morgan appreciated that. I think he is somebody who, when the ball hits the batsman or the bat, expects them not to run in ‘Spirit of Cricket’. Again it is a very grey area, it is a very interesting topic, I have my own opinion on it. But at the moment, I will just say, I am happy I played peace-maker and things have come to a good standstill right now,” Karthik had said.
Ashwin tweeted that he had not seen the ricochet but insisted that he would have taken the run.
“I stood up for myself and that’s what my teachers and parents taught me to do and please teach your children to stand up for themselves,” he tweeted. “In Morgan or Southee’s world of cricket they can choose and stick to what they believe is right or wrong but do not have the right to take a moral high ground and use words that are derogatory.”
The issue however continued to divide opinion with former cricketers Virender Sehwag and Shane Warne at two sides of the debate, to mention a few.
On Thursday, Ashwin took to Twitter to respond to the criticism:
1. I turned to run the moment I saw the fielder throw and didn’t know the ball had hit Rishabh.
2. Will I run if I see it!? Of course I will and I am allowed to.
3. Am I a disgrace like Morgan said I was? Of course NOT.
4. Did I fight? No, I stood up for myself and that’s what my teachers and parents taught me to do and pls teach your children to stand up for themselves. In Morgan or Southee’s world of cricket they can choose and stick to what they believe is right or wrong but do not have the right to take a moral high ground and use words that are derogatory. What’s even more surprising is the fact that people are discussing this and also trying to talk about who is the good and bad person here!
To all the ‘Cricket is a gentleman’s game’ fans in the house’:
There are millions of cricketers with several thought processes that play this great game to make it their careers, teach them that an extra run taken due to a poor throw aimed to get you out can make your career and an extra yard stolen by the non striker can break your career. Do not confuse them by telling them that you will be termed a good person if you refuse the run or warn the non striker, because all these people who are terming you good or bad have already made a living or they are doing what it takes to be successful elsewhere. Give your heart and soul on the field and play within the rules of the game and shake your hands once the game is over. The above is the only ‘spirit of the game’ I understand.
Here’s what Dinesh Karthik had said about the incident on the night after the match.