Ravichandran Ashwin © Getty Images
Ravichandran Ashwin © Getty Images

Ravichandran Ashwin has been smitten by County Cricket, so much so that the off-spinner is ready to skip the Australia series in September-October. Ashwin had a successful start to the County season as he picked 3 wickets and scored 36 against Gloucestershire. Ashwin wants to play the remaining County games as well. Keeping in mind next year’s England tour, Ashwin might be allowed by BCCI to concentrate on County and give the Australia series a miss. “I could be called to play in the Australia series,” Ashwin told ESPNCricinfo. In that case, Ashwin will get to play only one more match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

“But I have indicated to Bumpy (Steve Rhodes, the Worcestershire direct of cricket) that I will be available for all four games. As of now, there are no communication channels (with BCCI) open but they will be shortly, so I will probably get a clearer idea after the Sri Lanka series,” he said. For Ashwin, the next year’s England series is certainly in consideration but not the sole reason for this stint.”It’s not just about next year. It’s always been a dream to play county cricket. I grew up watching it on TV in India and it has always meant a lot. Spinners have come before and told me it is a must-do experience. I was being rested from the (limited overs) series (against Sri Lanka), so I thought I might as well come here to get experience,” he said. However, he is sure that this stint will help him a lot during the 2018 series.

“But yes, next year is in the back of my mind and in the back of the mind of the team management back home. With the pace with which the international cricket calendar is set-up, you don’t have a long time to prepare.”

“That might even cost you a Test match. So these experiences can be banked upon and, if you can learn faster — which I pride myself upon — the results can come a bit faster,” Ashwin said.

(Inputs from PTI)