Ravichandran Ashwin, once again, used a football analogy to explain the concept of ‘retired out‘. The Rajasthan Royals’ star this week became the first in IPL and fourth overall cricketer to be declared retired out.

Ashwin was called off the field against Lucknow Super Giants with two overs left in the innings. He was replaced by Riyan Parag. The move, which RR described as a ‘team decision’, was made so the side to accumulate some quick runs in the death. The star off-spinner had scored 28 off 23 balls before being declared retired out. His replacement, Parag, made eight in four. 

Also read: Rajasthan Royals’ Riyan Parag wants to succeed MS Dhoni, ‘can be India’s best finisher’

“A batter may retire at any time during his/her innings when the ball is dead. The umpires, before allowing play to proceed, shall be informed of the reason for a batter retiring.,” states the ICC’s law.

Talking about the team’s decision on Sunday, Ashwin said that cricket as a sport is already late. Football has seen substituitions for long and retired out calls will happen a lot in the coming days.

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“T20, as a sport, is heading towards where football has reached. Just like how they’re using substitutions, I did something similar (retiring out). Already we’re late, but I believe this will happen a lot in the coming days. I don’t think it will be a stigma like running someone out at the non-striker’s end,” said Ashwin on his Youtube channel.

The 35-year-old, however, cautioned that the move might not work always. He then used football greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as examples to prove his point. 

“It might work sometimes and it might not work sometimes. These things happen constantly in football, and we haven’t cracked T20 cricket fully yet. This is a millennial sport. This is the next generation’s sport. In fact, if you see in football, Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo score goals frequently. But their team’s goalkeeper should also save goals and their defenders should defend well. Only then, a Messi or Ronaldo will be in the limelight,” Ashwin added. 

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“It was just a tactical move. In fact, Riyan Parag has been batting very well and when the (K) Gowtham over (16th over) ended, I gave myself some time – five to six balls – to see whether I can hit a six or two fours.”