Thursday, April 18

A Night of Tribute: Ashwin Felicitated by Kumble and TNCA for Monumental Achievements

Legendary Indian spinner Anil Kumble showered praise on Ravichandran Ashwin during a felicitation ceremony organized by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA)

The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai witnessed a heartwarming ceremony on Saturday as the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) celebrated Ravichandran Ashwin’s remarkable cricketing milestones: 100 Test matches and 500 Test wickets. The evening turned into a night of immense adulation for Ashwin, with legendary spinner Anil Kumble showering him with praise and the TNCA presenting a grand token of appreciation.

Kumble: Ashwin, a Match-Winner with an Unquenchable Thirst for Improvement

Anil Kumble, himself a spin-bowling icon, reserved special words for Ashwin. He acknowledged Ashwin’s impact, stating, “In my book, he’s one of the best to represent the country in Test cricket…There is no fun stacking up the wickets if it doesn’t help the team win. On that count, Ashwin has had an overwhelming correlation between his and the team’s successes.”

Kumble went beyond statistics, recognizing Ashwin’s relentless pursuit of excellence. “One of the things that constantly fascinates me is his clear unwillingness to settle. He is seldom satisfied with being very good or excellent. Each day he wants to be better than the previous one. That’s the sign of a great learner,” Kumble remarked, adding a touch of humor by highlighting a playful memory of Ashwin’s intense approach even in a TNPL match.

Emotional Recognition from Srinivasan and Dravid

N. Srinivasan, the former BCCI president, displayed visible pride as he spoke about Ashwin. “It is a very emotional meeting for me. En payyan (He’s my boy),” Srinivasan said, struggling to contain his emotions. He expressed his belief that Ashwin’s achievement is unlikely to be replicated soon: “I am not able to see the next Tamil player who will get 500 wickets. This is something beyond imagination.”

Current India coach Rahul Dravid, unable to attend in person, sent a video message acknowledging Ashwin’s influence on the game. Dravid lauded Ashwin for “moving the craft of spin bowling forward through his hard work, practice and innovation,” highlighting his lasting legacy. He further commended Ashwin’s commitment to the team’s success, stating, “The foundation of that achievement comes from an absolute desire to contribute to the team’s success.”

Ashwin’s Heartfelt Response and TNCA’s Grand Gesture

Ashwin, visibly humbled by the outpouring of appreciation, expressed his gratitude. “I’m truly humbled and grateful. I don’t generally search for words, but this is one such occasion where I’m truly humbled,” he said. He acknowledged the TNCA’s pivotal role in his cricketing journey, stating, “This place where I’m getting felicitated today is a very special place. This place has given me so much, I’ll always keep coming back to TNCA.”

The TNCA reciprocated Ashwin’s affection with a unique and grand gesture. They presented him with a sceptre, a commemorative stamp celebrating his achievements, a memento crafted from 500 gold coins, and a significant cheque of Rs. 1 crore. This ceremony not only celebrated Ashwin’s cricketing excellence but also solidified the special bond he shares with Tamil Nadu cricket.

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