Ravi Ashwin makes a heartwarming gesture for a fan in poor health
What's the story?
Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin ensured that one of his biggest fans, P Venkateshan, got the opportunity of watching the India-Australia ODI live at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday (September 17).
The off-spinner is not a part of the series himself but made sure that the ailing fan was able to watch the game from the hospitality box at Chepauk. Venkateshan is suffering from a kidney-ailment.
"I have only viewed from the galleries. Thanks to the efforts taken by Ashwin's management team, I am watching the game from the hospitality box. For someone like me it's a once-in-a-lifetime event. I will never ever forget the courtesy extended by Ashwin," said 43-year-old Venkatesan to theTimes of India.
In a statement, Ashwin said, "we are definitely not doing this for publicity. It is the part of our endeavor at The Ashwin Foundation to put a smile on faces. Every request or friendly demand cannot be met with a positive response but we do the best we can. Venkat is a genuine cricket lover and this is the least we could do for him."
In case you didn't know..
Ashwin is currently in the United Kingdom to play county cricket for Worcestershire. He picked up three wickets on his debut for the club and has had a good start to his county career so far.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli and Co. have initiated their ODI series against Australia with a win in Chennai. Steve Smith's men will play four more ODIs and 3 T20Is on the tour.
Venkateshan is a big fan of R. Ashwin, and wished to see him in action against Australia n Sunday.
However, the Chennai native also added that India winning the match made up for his disappointment of Ashwin not participating in the same.
He will undergo a transplant surgery in November this year with his sister volunteering to donate her kidney to him.
Ashwin's stint in county cricket will be crucial in his upcoming ODI as well as Test encounters, more so in England.
India are set to travel to England for a full-fledged tour next season. The ICC World Cup will also be hosted by Joe Root's side in 2019. Ashwin's experience will be vital to India's success on both the occasions.
Cricket enthusiasts like Venkateshan would hope to see Ashwin shine in the big tournament and usher India to its third ODI World Cup title.
It is heartening to see international stars like Ashwin tending to their fans' needs.
At the end of the day, it's the fan that makes cricket such a big sport throughout the world. Hence, as international cricketers, people like Ashwin must continue to take the initiative to give it back to the fans of the sport.
The off-spinner's heartwarming gesture yesterday did just that!