Rajasthan Royals' director of cricket and head coach, Kumar Sangakkara, hailed R Ashwin's "sacrifice" for the team's cause, after the RR player retired himself out in the match against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Sunday to allow a better finisher to come in and help the Sanju Samson-led finish on a high.
Rajasthan Royals became the first franchise in the history of the tournament to employ the 'retired out' tactic as R Ashwin ended his innings while being not out on 28 for RR against Lucknow Super Giants on Sunday. Ashwin became only the 4th batter in T20 cricket to be retired hurt after Shahid Afridi, Sonam Togbay of Bhutan and Sunzamul Islam of Bangladesh.
Ashwin's batting partner at that time, Shimron Hetmyer struck Khan for sixes of successive deliveries and Parag too struck a big six before getting out, going for another big one off the penultimate delivery of the match to boost RR's score to 165 for six.
The winners of the inaugural IPL edition then restricted LSG to 162/8 for a narrow three-run win.
Royals coach Sangakkara praised Ashwin, saying, "Ashwin himself was asking from the field as well, and we had discussed it just before that, as to what we would do. I thought the way Ashwin handled that situation, walking in (in the 10th over) under pressure, the way he batted to support the team. And then finally, (he) sacrificed himself in terms of being retired out, (which) was just magnificent."
"And then he went out in the field and backed it up with an excellent, excellent bowling effort," he added.
The successful tactic used by the Royals in the IPL in Sunday's game at Wankhede has won praise and could become a regular fixture in 20-over cricket prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup later this year, felt ICC on Monday.
The law states that retired batters can only resume their innings later in the innings due to injury or illness, unless there is consent from the opposing captain. Law 25.4.3 states, in part: "If a batter retires for any reason other than (injury or illness) ... the innings of that batter may be resumed only with the consent of the opposing captain. If for any reason his/her innings is not resumed, that batter is to be recorded as 'Retired - out'."