R. Ashwin Launches New Book, Reflects on Career and Street Cricket Roots

Renowned Indian cricketer R. Ashwin has added another accolade to his illustrious career, turning author with the release of his new book, “I Have the Streets – A Kutti Cricket Story.” Co-authored with Sidharth Monga, the book was launched at a grand event held at the Taj Coromandel Hotel in Chennai, where Ashwin shared anecdotes from his early days, career milestones, and the mentors who shaped his journey.

A Humble Beginning in Street Cricket

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Ashwin’s story begins in the bylanes of R.A. Puram, a neighborhood in Chennai, where he first encountered the sport that would define his life. Speaking at the event, Ashwin recounted how street cricket played a pivotal role in shaping his batting and bowling techniques. “Street cricket made me the person I am today. A lot of my batting, when it comes to playing square or breaking the wrist, is because there were runs only on the offside while playing in my street. If I hit it straight, the ball would go into my neighbor’s house, and that meant you were out,” he shared with a smile.

Influence of a Father’s Wisdom

Ashwin reserved his first credit for his father, Ravichandran, whose analytical approach to life had a profound impact on him. “My father used to question everything and annoy me. The most peaceful time of the day was between 4 pm and 6 pm when I played outside. He picked this period to ask how I did my exams. The quality of his digging deep helped me big time. That inspired me to get inquisitive, to a point where I didn’t care about the reaction to my question,” Ashwin recalled.

Journey to International Stardom and MS Dhoni

Ashwin made his Indian Premier League debut with Chennai Super Kings under M.S. Dhoni in 2009, marking the beginning of a significant phase in his career. He was part of India’s victorious squads in the 2011 ICC World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy. Ashwin praised Dhoni for his unwavering trust in his players. “We were playing Victoria Bushrangers in South Africa [in the Champions League]. The game went to a super over, and I raised my hand to bowl. After conceding 22 runs and losing the game, Dhoni simply said, ‘You have the variations, you should’ve backed yourself.’ He trusted me the next game and gave me the 17th over. It was a game-defining over, and I ended up as the player of the tournament,” Ashwin recounted.

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Mentorship Under Gary Kirsten

Another significant influence in Ashwin’s career was Gary Kirsten, India’s coach during the 2011 World Cup. Kirsten’s belief in Ashwin’s potential was a turning point. “I was going to play against Pakistan, but there was dew in practice, so they decided to go for an extra seamer. After we won, Gary said, ‘I don’t think we have done justice to your talent in the last couple of years. You have waited your time. Your work ethic will bring you far greater achievements,’” Ashwin recalled.

Writing His Story

Ashwin’s book is not an autobiography, but a reflection on his life and the lessons he learned along the way. “It took four years to write. This is one way to go back and connect to who I was. There are some very good stories that I’ve crafted delicately because they can be misconstrued. My constant endeavor was to live a story from which people can learn. So, I’ve tried to be as real as I can,” he said.

“I Have the Streets – A Kutti Cricket Story” promises to offer readers an intimate look into the life of one of cricket’s most analytical and dedicated players, tracing his journey from the streets of Chennai to the world stage. As Ashwin continues to inspire both on and off the field, his new book is set to become a must-read for cricket enthusiasts and aspiring cricketers alike.

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Renowned Indian cricketer R. Ashwin has added another accolade to his illustrious career, turning author with the release of his new book, "I Have the Streets - A Kutti Cricket Story." Co-authored with Sidharth Monga, the book was launched at a grand event held at the Taj Coromandel Hotel in Chennai, where Ashwin shared anecdotes from his early days, career milestones, and the mentors who shaped his journey.

A Humble Beginning in Street Cricket

Ashwin's story begins in the bylanes of R.A. Puram, a neighborhood in Chennai, where he first encountered the sport that would define his life. Speaking at the event, Ashwin recounted how street cricket played a pivotal role in shaping his batting and bowling techniques. "Street cricket made me the person I am today. A lot of my batting, when it comes to playing square or breaking the wrist, is because there were runs only on the offside while playing in my street. If I hit it straight, the ball would go into my neighbor’s house, and that meant you were out," he shared with a smile.

Influence of a Father's Wisdom

Ashwin reserved his first credit for his father, Ravichandran, whose analytical approach to life had a profound impact on him. "My father used to question everything and annoy me. The most peaceful time of the day was between 4 pm and 6 pm when I played outside. He picked this period to ask how I did my exams. The quality of his digging deep helped me big time. That inspired me to get inquisitive, to a point where I didn’t care about the reaction to my question," Ashwin recalled.

Journey to International Stardom and MS Dhoni

Ashwin made his Indian Premier League debut with Chennai Super Kings under M.S. Dhoni in 2009, marking the beginning of a significant phase in his career. He was part of India’s victorious squads in the 2011 ICC World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy. Ashwin praised Dhoni for his unwavering trust in his players. "We were playing Victoria Bushrangers in South Africa [in the Champions League]. The game went to a super over, and I raised my hand to bowl. After conceding 22 runs and losing the game, Dhoni simply said, ‘You have the variations, you should’ve backed yourself.’ He trusted me the next game and gave me the 17th over. It was a game-defining over, and I ended up as the player of the tournament," Ashwin recounted.

Mentorship Under Gary Kirsten

Another significant influence in Ashwin's career was Gary Kirsten, India’s coach during the 2011 World Cup. Kirsten's belief in Ashwin’s potential was a turning point. "I was going to play against Pakistan, but there was dew in practice, so they decided to go for an extra seamer. After we won, Gary said, ‘I don’t think we have done justice to your talent in the last couple of years. You have waited your time. Your work ethic will bring you far greater achievements,’” Ashwin recalled.

Writing His Story

Ashwin's book is not an autobiography, but a reflection on his life and the lessons he learned along the way. "It took four years to write. This is one way to go back and connect to who I was. There are some very good stories that I’ve crafted delicately because they can be misconstrued. My constant endeavor was to live a story from which people can learn. So, I’ve tried to be as real as I can," he said.

"I Have the Streets - A Kutti Cricket Story" promises to offer readers an intimate look into the life of one of cricket’s most analytical and dedicated players, tracing his journey from the streets of Chennai to the world stage. As Ashwin continues to inspire both on and off the field, his new book is set to become a must-read for cricket enthusiasts and aspiring cricketers alike.

Stay updated with all the cricketing action, follow Cricadium on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, and Instagram