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‘Srikkanth said ‘I should learn from Muralitharan at CSK.’ He then asked Kasi…’: Ashwin recalls chance IPL contract

Ashwin recalled how the most unforgettable moment of his career, of how he received a CSK contract after a special request made by Kris Srikkanth.

Ravichandran Ashwin took a trip down memory lane on Saturday, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, after being felicitated for his twin achievements of 500 Test wickets and 100 appearances in the format for India. Not to forget, the stellar show in the recent England Test series also saw him become the No.1 ranked Test bowler.

Ashwin was signed by CSK in 2008

Speaking at the function organised by Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), who also presented him with a cheque of INR 1 crore and a special mace, Ashwin recalled how the most unforgettable moment of his career, of how he received an IPL contract from Chennai Super Kings in 2008 after a special request made by former India cricketer Kris Srikkanth.

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Ashwin remembered that in first-division TNCA match in 2008, he had managed to impress the India legend, who was the chief guest in that match. Srikkanth instantly asked him to join CSK, where he could learn more about the art of spin bowling from Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralitharan. He then requested CSK CEO KS Viswanathan, seated next to him, and Ashwin had an IPL contract in hand the following day.

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“I would definitely not be able to sleep tonight if I do not recall this instance,” Ashwin was quoted by Times of India. “In 2008, I was playing a (TNCA first-division) game for Jolly Rovers CC against India Cements (Vijay CC). I picked up six wickets and went back home as Man of the Match. K Srikkanth was the chief guest that night. He picked up the mic and said: ‘Ashwin, you bowled superbly. You should go to Chennai Super Kings and learn from Muttiah Muralitharan.

“I was famished because I was not in the (CSK) team. We did not have auctions (for domestic players) at that time. He turned to Kasi (CSK CEO KS Viswanathan) and said: ‘Are you not taking him in the team?’ That particular line changed my life altogether. I received a contract from CSK the next day,” said Ashwin.

Ashwin was part of the CSK franchise till 2015. He picked 120 wickets in 121 appearances for the franchise and remains their third-highest wicket-taker to date after Dwayne Bravo (154) and Ravindra Jadeja (134).


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