'It's an unfair question' - Ashwin hits out at press conference query to Rahul Dravid
India had a fine run in the Super 12s stage of the T20 World Cup 2022, being the only team to win four matches in the round from either groups. They were however knocked out of the competition with a crushing 10-wicket defeat in the semi-final to England.
There were questions and debates if the Indian players should be allowed to play in the overseas T20 leagues in future, especially with a number of players from the eventual champions England outfit, having familiarity of the Australian conditions through their BBL experience.
India head coach Rahul Dravid was asked the same, to which he backed the BCCI’s decision, citing that the move would affect India’s domestic cricket competition. Ravichandran Ashwin, who was a part of the team’s campaign, reflected further on the subject.
"They asked Rahul bhai in the press conference as soon as our game was over,” Ashwin said on his YouTube Channel. “You can't ask these questions as a reaction to losing a game. It's a very unfair question to the coach of a cricket team. So what do you expect him to reply to that question? In fact he gave a very good reply to that question. He asked, ‘If you want Indian players to go and play in these leagues, what will happen to our first-class system?’
“We should understand that the Indian first-class system will begin from August or by September end. It will be March when the Ranji trophy final gets over and we will have the IPL as soon as Ranji Trophy gets over.
"So if we don't play our first-class cricket, our sample size of players will come down. He felt it that way and replied beautifully. It is an interesting and debatable topic. In fact, many players from other countries have come to India and returned as better players.”
India are currently on a white-ball tour of New Zealand, where they won the rain-marred three-match T20I series 1-0, and are trailing 0-1 in ODIs with two matches to play. Both Dravid and Ashwin, alongside few other senior players, have been rested from the tour and will return for the Bangladesh series next month.