R Ashwin withdraws from Rajkot Test because of family emergency

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India offspinner R Ashwin has withdrawn from India’s Test side in Rajkot, effective immediately, because of a family medical emergency.

“The BCCI extends its heartfelt support to the champion cricketer and his family,” the Indian board said in a media release. “The health and well-being of the players and their loved ones are of utmost importance. The Board requests respect for the privacy of Ashwin and his family as they navigate through this challenging time.

“The Board and the team will continue to provide any necessary assistance to Ashwin and will keep the lines of communication open to offer support as needed. Team India appreciates the understanding and empathy of the fans and media during this sensitive period.”

Ashwin’s withdrawal could leave India with only ten players, with three days of play left in the Rajkot Test. Ordinarily, playing substitutes are only permitted for players ruled out by concussions or Covid-19. In the absence of Ashwin, India are left with Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav as frontline spin options for the rest of this Test.

On the second day in Rajkot, Ashwin had reached a significant milestone, becoming the ninth bowler to 500 Test wickets.

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