Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Team India’s veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was forced to take a leave after the second day’s play of the Rajkot Test against England. Hosts India were in a tricky situation at the moment. Ashwin promptly flew home after the final session.

Subsequently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stated that a family emergency necessitated Ashwin’s departure. It was later revealed to be related to his mother’s health.

Though the veteran off-spinner has not publicly addressed the situation yet, his wife Prithi provided insight in a column ahead of the cricketer’s 100th Test. 

In her column for a newspaper, Prithi detailed how Ashwin’s mother had suddenly collapsed, leading the family to rush her to the hospital. Instead of contacting Ashwin directly, Prithi reached out to Cheteshwar Pujara to coordinate the off-spinner’s return journey.

“During Rajkot, the kids had just got back from school when five minutes later, he got to 500. And soon, all of us were on the phone answering all the congratulatory messages. It was then that I heard a sudden scream from aunty as she collapsed, and in no time we were at the hospital. At that point, we had decided not to tell Ashwin because there wasn’t good flight connectivity between Chennai and Rajkot,” Prithi wrote in the column.

“So I dialled Cheteshwar Pujara and his family were of great help. And once we found a way out, I called up Ashwin because after the scans, the doctor suggested it was better to have her son around. Over the phone, he sounded so broken and hung up. It took another 20-25 minutes to process what I told him and for him to call back. And thanks to Rohit (Sharma), Rahul bhai (Dravid) and the others in the team and the BCCI - who followed up all the way till he reached here - he got here late at night,” he added.