IPL 2021: Gambhir backs Ashwin in recent ‘Spirit of Cricket’ controversy; Irfan, Agarkar join him

R Ashwin and Eoin Morgan | IPL/BCCI

Former India cricketer Gautam Gambir, Irfan Pathan, and Ajit Agarkar discussed the recent incident involving R Ashwin and Eoin Morgan during Delhi Capitals (DC) and Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) clash in IPL 2021.

Ashwin is receiving flak for the incident which took place on the final ball of the 19th over of Delhi’s innings. The off-spinner called over Rishabh Pant for an extra run after KKR fielder Rahul Tripathi’s throw ricocheted off the DC captain’s body.

Morgan felt that it wasn’t in “Spirit of the Game” and had a heated exchange with Ashwin when he got out off Tim Southee’s first delivery in the final over. Ashwin was then seen charging towards the KKR skipper before Karthik stepped in and calmed things down.

Gambhir has come in support of Ashwin and said he wasn’t wrong as his actions were within the rules. Irfan and Agarkar have also backed the DC spinner and they said the matter has been stretched a lot.

“I back Ravichandran Ashwin 100 percent. What he did was well within the rules. He has done nothing wrong. And there are so many people who are jumping into it, they have got nothing to do with it. Probably to increase some social media followers or to have some presence somewhere so that people can talk about it. It makes no sense. R Ashwin is absolutely correct,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.

Pathan recalled the incident during World Cup 2019 final between England and New Zealand while speaking in favor of Ashwin. “People use the term spirit of the game for their own convenience. You remember 2019 World Cup? Let’s not get into it. If you have issues with the rule, change the rule. Even in that run-out issue, I would do it differently, but Ashwin was definitely well within the rules. Ashwin should back himself definitely and we all will back him,” he said.

Agarkar had a similar opinion on the issue and he said the matter has been blown out of proportion. “So much has been made out it. Spirit of the game terms are conveniently used but it can’t be a grey area. You can’t have situations where one thing is not allowed and the other thing is allowed. It can’t work that way,” he said.

“Either we follow what is in the laws of the game or we have set rules. He hasn’t done anything illegal. The umpires wouldn’t have allowed it in that case.

“To make so much fuss about it, different people talking about it from different parts of the world, I don’t get it. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, it happens and we have to move on,” he added.

Recently, even Ashwin had opened up on the incident taking to Twitter. He posted a Twitter thread and ended the ‘Sportsmanship’ discussion. The offie wrote that he stood for himself and Morgan can stick to what he believes is right or wrong without taking a moral high ground and using derogatory words.