Ashwin’s father Ravichandran: Want him to be Royals’ shining light in Qualifier 2 and final

Ashwin with His Father N Ravichandran. (Source:

Shamik Chakrabarty in Chennai

R Ashwin’s father Ravichandran politely turned down the request of meeting him at his home. He is busy with some family matters and requested for a conversation over the phone. Ashwin is coming to Chennai after winning the Player of the Match award in the Eliminator. He dished out an off-spin masterclass against Royal Challengers Bengaluru to return with 2/19 from his four overs. Ravichandran is proud of his son’s achievement. He wants Ashwin to be Rajasthan Royals’ shining light in the next two matches.

“It’s completely his (Ashwin’s) brainwork,” Ravichandran told RevSportz. “He is very, very intelligent and he is a very stubborn and determined cricketer. I feel proud of him because he is more intelligent than me.”

Reading is one aspect that has contributed to Ashwin’s intelligence, feels his father. “He is a voracious reader and accrues knowledge through his reading. Even when he was in school, he used to do his (home) work on his own. I helped him during his schooldays, but he has the natural intelligence to improve. He has always been a very independent person.”

As Ashwin revealed after the Eliminator on Wednesday, he was carrying an injury in the first half of the tournament. It was preventing him from completing his action. In the first nine games of this year’s IPL, he accounted for just two wickets. In the next four, he has taken seven. Against RCB, Ashwin was in fine fettle.

A carrom ball got the better of Cameron Green, as the batsman struggled to cope with the dip and could only manage the toe end of the bat. An off-break saw the back of Glenn Maxwell. Ashwin should have had Rajat Patidar’s scalp as well, but Dhruv Jurel dropped a sitter.

“Truth be told, in the first half of the season, my body wasn’t moving at all. I felt like I wasn’t able to complete my action on many occasions. I had a little bit of an abdomen injury as well. So I couldn’t really get through it a lot,” Ashwin told the host broadcaster after the game.

The Qualifier 2 and the final will be played at Chepauk and Ravichandran expects his son to bowl even better on his home patch. “The Sunrisers Hyderabad game is next and if RR win that and reach the final, I expect Ashwin to raise his game even more and to be the shining light of the final. I bless him for that.”
Will he go to the ground to watch the final if Royals qualify? “Unlikely,” said Ravichandran.

“For the last couple of years, I have sort of developed a habit of watching games on TV. Before that, I used to go to every game that Ashwin was playing, even when he was turning up for his state team. But I’m 68 years old and watching matches on TV is more comfortable.”

Ashwin would be reaching Chennai on Thursday. Ravichandran expects a call from his son, although a visit at home is unlikely. Royals went to the Eliminator on the heels of a string of defeats and the win against RCB has obviously given the side a much-needed confidence boost.

Ashwin spoke about that. “I thought we were a bit rusty chasing 170 (173), but that confidence will come right back into the dressing room now,” henoted, adding: “The greatest strength of our team is the exuberance of youth and the balance of the senior players.”

In a so-called young man’s game (that is T20 cricket), Ashwin has proved time and again that his class and experience are the priceless commodities that can trump the irreverence of youth. But he will turn 38 in September and the IPL has a mega auction next year, providing the franchises with an opportunity to build for the future. Does his father have any idea about how long Ashwin might continue?

“I have no idea. It’s Ashwin’s decision. So far I haven’t asked him, and I will not ask him in the future also. I think he will decide according to his fitness. If he feels good, he will continue. If he doesn’t feel good, he will retire,” Ravichandran signed off.