Rajasthan Royals off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has voiced his concerns over the umpires’ decision to change the ball during an IPL 2023 match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). The match took place at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on April 12th, with Rajasthan Royals emerging victorious by three runs. Ashwin questioned the lack of consistency in umpiring decisions and called for a standardized approach in future IPL matches.
During the match, the umpires decided to change the ball due to heavy dew, a decision that surprised Ashwin as it was taken without consulting the Rajasthan Royals or their captain, Sanju Samson. Ashwin highlighted the irregularity of such decisions and emphasized the need for balance.
“I’m quite surprised the umpires changed the ball for dew on their own. It’s never happened before and I’m quite surprised. Some of the decisions in this year’s IPL on the field have left me a little flummoxed, to be honest,” Ashwin said.
He continued, “As a bowling team, we are not asking for the ball to be changed. But the ball was changed on the umpires’ accord. I did ask the umpire, and he said we can change it. So I hope every time there’s dew, they can change it – every single time going forward in this IPL. You can do whatever you want, but you need to be standard.”
The match saw Ashwin put up a commendable performance, claiming two wickets while conceding just 25 runs in his two-over spell. Rajasthan Royals managed to defend a sub-190 total and became the first team since Mumbai Indians in 2013 to defeat CSK at their home ground, Chepauk.
Although the laws of cricket and IPL’s playing conditions permit umpires to change the ball when they deem fit, there have been previous instances of players questioning such decisions. Punjab Kings’ Sam Curran expressed similar concerns after their five-run win over the Royals in Guwahati on April 5th.
Aside from the controversy, Ashwin praised his teammate Sandeep Sharma for his composure and commitment during the final over of the match, successfully defending the target against MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja.
Despite Ashwin’s concerns, the Rajasthan Royals have had a strong start in IPL 2023, winning three out of four matches and moving to the top of the points table.