Indian cricketer Ashwin Ravichandran has been one of the most active players on social media during the national lockdown put in place to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. While cricket has been on hiatus since March, Ashwin has made the most of his time at home by interacting with fans, his teammates and other celebrities.

Talking to sports broadcaster Radhakrishnan Sreenivasan on The RK Show, Ashwin said he started his Instagram Live series Reminisce with Ash to better connect with his fans and spread some positivity during the lockdown.

“When I first started talking on social media, I was talking a lot about the Covid-19 breakout, trying to spread across messages. But somewhere down the line I felt it was spreading a lot of negativity,” said Ashwin.

“I felt that I need to interact with fans in a way that they will probably forget about the existing situation and enjoy some of the things that I am good at. If I get to do that, I will also have an avenue through which I can communicate certain things and hopefully that will resonate with the audience a lot more.”

The off-spinner also spoke about how he felt that social media was helping him express who he really is as a person.

“When I speak for two to three minutes in press conferences and interviews, people don’t quite get to know me. There is probably a misconception about who exactly I am. I love my humour, I take life very easy contrary to what people believe. It’s an effort to try and show them that I am not probably what you see on screen,” he said.

Ashwin said he has always believed in speaking his mind, despite people telling him to watch his words.

“People might think that I am arrogant because sometimes it’s not their way of life, it’s not their way of operating. I am too straight. A lot of people, in the last 10-11 years, have given me the feedback saying that you should try and be a little diplomatic because straight trees are cut first,” said the 33-year-old.

“But I chose to tread a path that I am comfortable with. When there is a question posed to me, I answer that question. I don’t see what answer will fit the brand value or what will make me more appealing to a brand.

“If people don’t agree with me they can call me rebellious but that’s just the way people think. I am completely okay with it. If you don’t have rebellious people out there, if you don’t have people who think for themselves, it’s going to be very hard to put history out there. For me, when I communicate something it’s genuinely heartfelt. It’s not with a perception of trying to win brownie points. I have been very earnest and I stand for who I am,” he added.

Watch Ashwin’s interview here: