‘Why should I lag behind if there is 15-degree benefit’
One of the few off-spinners in world cricket with a clean action, India’s Ravichandran Ashwin admits that the need to use the allowed 15-degree flex does arise in the modern game even though he has learnt to bowl with a straight arm.
Ashwin was criticised for bowling with long sleeves in Bangladesh in 2014 but the offie is unapologetic about following the fad for getting a ‘competitive edge’.
“As I said, forming rules is not my job; playing is. If there is a 15-degree rule to be used as an advantage, why should I lag behind? There is a precise advantage that I wanted to use. People started thinking I had gone mad but I did not take offence,” Ashwin told ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
“I felt only mad people succeed in life and if you’re mad about something and believe in something, you will come out on top. I felt to a greater degree that I did come out on top. If I hadn’t ventured into those things, I would not have learned as much as I did,” he added.
There has been a clampdown on erring off-spinners by the ICC in recent times, but Ashwin, who has a clean action, sympathises with the wrongdoers.