Rajasthan Royals’ Ravichandran Ashwin was the first batsman in the IPL to be deliberately retired out against Lucknow Super Giants on Sunday evening. Ashwin stepped off after two balls of the 19th over when the team’s total was 135 for 4, having scored 28 runs off 23 balls.
When Ashwin came to bat at no. 6, he went off to allow Riyan Parag to join and bat alongside Shimron Hetmyer in the middle. As RR posted 165 for six in 20 overs, setting a target of 166 runs, Parag managed only eight runs off four balls (including a six). Meanwhile, Hetmyer smashed an undefeated 59-run knock off 36 balls, including four and six sixes.
Ravichandran Ashwin Becomes First Batsman To Be Tactically Retired Out In IPL
It wasn’t obvious at the time who started the move: Ashwin or the dugout. Hetmyer said in a mid-match interview that he was unaware of the change, which explains his surprised expression when Ashwin went off during Avesh Khan’s over. However, it was revealed after the game that the decision was made jointly on and off the field.
— James Tyler (@JamesTyler_99) April 10, 2022
According to the law – “A batsman retires out if he retires without the umpire’s permission and does not have the permission of the opposing captain to resume his innings. If such a return does not occur, the batman is marked as ‘retired out’ and this is considered a dismissal for the purposes of calculating a batting average.”
Although this was the first tactical retired-out dismissal in the IPL, it has occurred previously in the format, including in international cricket. Sonam Togbay of Bhutan retired at the end of the 19th over against the Maldives at the South Asian Games in 2019.
Because T20 cricket innings are so short, teams want to maximize each ball and can’t afford a less-than-ideal batter batting in situations suited to other batters, this form of removal has long been expected to be the next innovation. Some coaches, though, believe it is a step too far.