“Mom Collapsed, Doctor Said Not In Position To…”: R Ashwin Reveals How Trauma Struck During Rajkot Test

The third India vs England Test in Rajkot was a special one for Ravichandran Ashwin. On the second day of the Test match, Ashwin dismissed England’s Zak Crawley to pocket his 500th Test scalp. Before him, only Anil Kumble reached the milestone among Indians. He became the ninth bowler worldwide to take 500 wickets. However, hours after the feat, Ashwin went through a traumatic experience for which he had to leave the squad on an immediate basis.  “Ravichandran Ashwin has withdrawn from the Test squad, effective immediately due to a family medical emergency. In these challenging times, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the team fully supports Ashwin,” said BCCI in its release. Reports said Ashwin’s mother Chitra had suffered a medical emergency.

Now, Ashwin has revealed how exactly thing transpired. “We went to the dressing room for another debrief and then back to our rooms. Rohit, me, and others were just discussing some things about the match here and there.

“That is when I realized I was not getting calls from my parents or wife. I thought they were busy attending calls and giving interviews. I called my wife around 7 PM, asking why my parents weren’t answering my call. Her voice was a bit shaky. She asked me to come separately from the crowd and told me that my mother collapsed after a headache,” Ashwin said on his YouTube channel.

“I blanked out. I did not know how to react or what questions to ask. I was crying but wanted to ensure nobody was watching me cry. It is unnecessary to think of it that way, but it was instinctive. I could not think. I was crying in my room for some time.

“Then, the team physio checked on me as I was not picking up calls. Rahul Bhai and Rohit Bhai also came to check on me, and all I could tell them was that I could not think clearly,” he added.

At that moment of personal shock, Ashwin said he was thinking about the team. “I am part of the playing XI, and the game is in the balance. If I leave, the squad will be left with 10 people fighting against a full-strength England squad when they had the upper hand. If I go, they will be a bowler short. There were so many things going through my mind. At the same time, I was on another track in my head, thinking about the last time I spoke to my mother. I just wanted to see her and then come back,” he explained.

“I asked how she was and if she was conscious, but the doctor apparently told me that she was not in a position to be seen. I lost it,” Ashwin said.

Ashwin then revealed how Indian cricket team coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma helped him.

“I was searching for a flight, but I could not find one. The Rajkot airport closes at 6 PM, and there are no flights from there after 6 PM. I didn’t know what to do. Rohit and Rahul Bhai came to my room, and Rohit asked me to stop thinking. He told me to go to my family, and he was trying to arrange a charter flight for me.

“A big thank you to Cheteshwar Pujara; he somehow found some flights in Ahmedabad and made it here to Rajkot for me to travel in. I did not know how those two hours went by,” he added

“Rohit did something else – he asked Kamlesh, our physio, to fly with me to Chennai and be with me. He was one of the two physios for the team. During our ride to the airport, Rohit kept calling and asking him to be with me during this challenging time,” Ashwin added.

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