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A chance contract and how it turned around for R Ashwin | Cricket News

CHENNAI: With a spring breeze blowing across M A Chidambaram Stadium, it was an evening to remember for R Ashwin and all those who turned up. Ashwin, who recently achieved the milestone double of playing 100 Test matches and picking up 500 wickets in the longest format, was being felicitated for his achievements and the Chennai cricket fraternity did its bit to make it special for their No.1 star.
It was a trip down memory lane for the champion offie as he recalled how the seeds of the journey were sown about 16 years ago.
“I would definitely not be able to sleep tonight if I do not recall this instance,” said Ashwin, who was presented by TNCA with a cheque worth Rs 1 crore and a special mace.
“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, as the crowd cheered him on.
Ashwin extended his gratitude to former BCCI president N Srinivasan for backing him when he was on the verge of being left out from the Test squad.

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