Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson and the team’s Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara spoke about Ravichandran Ashwin becoming the first batter in Indian Premier League history to be retired out after he walked off following his 28.

On Sunday, Ashwin opted to bring his 23-ball knock to an end in 18.2 overs of the Royals in against Lucknow Super Giants, to allow Ryan Parag to join the big-hitting Shimron Hetmyer.

Talking about Ashwin’s stunning act in the post-match presentation after the team’s three-run win, Samson clarified that the move was, in fact, a “team decision” and said, “It’s about being Rajasthan Royals (Ashwin’s retired out). 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,” he continued.

The left-handed Hetmyer smashed an unbeaten 59 off 36 deliveries including six sixes and Parag also got one hit over the fence in his four-ball stay as Royals finished on 165-6.

“I had no idea about it (Ashwin’s retirement) – he was also a bit tired,” Hetmyer said of Ashwin’s rare form of departure. It was a good decision, as the kid (Parag) hit a six for us.”

Meanwhile, Sangakkara also spoke about the decision to send in Ashwin at No.6, holding back Parag for later and Ashwin’s move in detail during the post-match press conference.

He said, “It was the right time to do that. Ashwin himself was asking from the field as well and we had discussed just before that as to what we would do.”

“As the coach I got one call wrong not sending Riyan Parag ahead of Rassie van der Dussen and holding Rassie back so we couldn’t get the full benefit of Riyan, but Ashwin handled that situation, walking in under pressure, he batted, supported the team and then finally sacrificed himself in terms of retiring himself out and then backed it up with a magnificent bowling effort.”

According to cricket rules, batters are allowed to retire at any time of the innings when the ball is dead after informing the umpires.

Once retired out, a batter cannot come back to take the crease, unlike retired hurt, where a batter can return to finish off his/her ins.

The cricketing world on Twitter also chimed in about whether this strategy should now be common practice and a norm in T20 cricket.

Here’s a look at some of the reactions:

(With inputs from AFP)

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