The controversy surrounding R Ashwin took place last week but the effects of it still refuses to die down. After the off-spinner got involved in a heated exchange with Tim Southee and Eoin Morgan during an IPL 2021 match between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders, several former cricketers have weighed in on the issue, offering their thoughts and opinions on the matter. While some have pointed fingers at Ashwin for hampering the spirit of the game, there are those who have defended him.

The incident that has gotten everyone talking took place on the final ball of the 19th over of DC innings. After a ball ricocheted off Rishabh Pant’s bat, Ashwin and his DC captain completed a second run, which did not go down well with KKR. Immediately, the incident led to a meltdown on social media with former cricketers explaining how it was either fair or not within the spirit of the game. Adding to it is former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who reckons Ashwin facing the brunt is not ideal, and that DC captain Pant equally involved in the incident.

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“What nobody asked is, why did Pant run? He was the one who was struck by the ball and if at all anybody should have known that the tradition is not to take the run after the ball is deflected, then it was the Delhi skipper. Maybe, in the heat of the battle and the anxiety to add runs to the team’s total, he took that extra run,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Mid-Day.

Gavaskar added that Pant should have intervened and tried to douse the incident by stepping in. But instead, the DC captain went with the flow. Putting the entire blame on Ashwin is not a notion Gavaskar is on board with.

“But why blame Ashwin? He may not have even seen the ball hitting his skipper as he would be intent on getting to his end and may have only seen the ball that was away from a fielder and so responded for the extra run. Pant could have stepped in and defused the situation, but in the intensity of the battle and especially in the hot and humid desert atmosphere, it is extremely tough to keep a cool head, so he may have not realised what had happened,” explained Gavaskar.

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