Ashwin on retiring out: 'We're late, but this will happen a lot'

He believes T20 hasn't been "fully cracked yet" and retiring out "won't be a stigma like running someone out at the non-striker's end"

R Ashwin believes retiring out as a tactical move - which he did for the first time in the IPL recently - will not be a stigma like run-out at the non-striker's end, and is of the view that teams are "already late" in utilising this rule.
Ashwin retired out while batting for Rajasthan Royals against Lucknow Super Giants on Sunday. He was promoted to No. 6 in the tenth over to allow the regular No. 6 Riyan Parag a more suitable point of entry. But having scored 28 off 23 towards the end of the innings, Ashwin walked off after two balls of the 19th over when Royals were 135 for 4, to make way for Parag.
"It might work sometimes and it might not work sometimes," Ashwin said on his YouTube channel. "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.
"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."
Parag struck a six on one off the four balls he faced and Royals eventually won by a small margin of three runs.
Ashwin explained he "threw the kitchen sink at everything" but was not able to score easily.
"It was just a tactical move," he said. "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. There were a few balls in the slot, I tried to hit, and mistimed a bit. I threw the kitchen sink at everything, but I couldn't get the timing going. Someone like Riyan Parag was in the shed and there were only ten balls remaining. If he comes and hits even two sixes, we could get a good score. It was a tactical decision."
Ashwin is also one of the biggest proponents of the run-out of the non-striker backing up, and was the first player in the IPL to effect the dismissal when he ran Jos Buttler out in 2019. The incident had triggered the spirit of cricket debate back although it was well within the law. But more recently, MCC made a move to de-stigmatise this mode of dismissal in the latest law updates, which will come into effect later this year.
Royals captain Sanju Samson had said during the post-match presentation that they had been talking about the retiring-out move even before the season.
"It's about being Rajasthan Royals," Sanju said. "We keep trying different things. We have been talking about it before the season. We thought that if some situation occurs, we can use it. It was a team decision."