Ashwin set to marry a day before Kolkata Test

Ravichandran Ashwin is set to marry on November 13 Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

New Delhi: Nov 9, 2011

India’s latest bowling hero Ravichandran Ashwin is all set to marry childhood friend Preethi Narayanan Sunday, his family confirmed. Ashwin and Preethi were engaged earlier this year.

Ashwin’s father Ravichandran, while reluctant to divulge details, said the marriage, scheduled a day ahead of the second India-West Indies cricket Test in Kolkata, would be restricted to the two families and close friends.

Ashwin scalped nine wickets, including six in the second innings, in the opening Test, which India won by five wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium here. Set to enter wedlock on November 13, Ashwin said he did not expect a debut so good.

“It’s a pleasing effort. I expected to get a few wickets but not so many. I don’t know if it’s gift for me and my wife before the marriage but it is a very happy feeling to go into my wedding with such a performance,” Ashwin said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Earlier it was reported that after the recently-concluded IPL, Ashwin had got engaged to his schoolmate, Preethi.

A source had revealed, “Yes, Ashwin got engaged recently. Though he knows the girl (Preethi) pretty well as they studied in the same school, the match was decided by the elders of the family. It is an arranged marriage.”

The engagement ceremony, which was a hush-hush affair, was held recently at a star hotel in Chennai and was attended only by the cricketer’s close family members and friends.

Despite every member of Team Chennai being present in the city at the time of engagement, Ashwin and his family members did not invite any of players to the ceremony.

“He (Ashwin) wanted it to be a family affair and wished to keep his personal life away from the spotlight,” the source added, “In fact, even his close local cricketer friends from Team Chennai, with whom he has shared the dressing room for quite a while, were not invited for the do. The IPL season was in full swing at the time of the engagement and the offspinner did not want any distractions.”

Perhaps the offspinner is taking a cue from his captain, MS Dhoni, who held a low-profile engagement and wedding, away from the prying eyes of the media.

Many cricketers in the recent past have entered into a wedlock in a hurry due to the compressed international schedule.

Last month Gautam Gambhir married to Natasha, a local businessman’s daughter whom he met a year ago. Gambhir missed India’s only Twenty20 encounter against England on account of his marriage.

Sri Lankan cricketer Tillakaratne Dilshan had got married during the first season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in May 2008 few days before his side Delhi Daredevils entered semi-finals of the IPL.

But some cricketers have preferred playing match before marriage. A prime example of it is former Indian batsman Dilip Sardesai who got married few days after playing in domestic match.

Recalling husband s decision, Nandini Sardesai was once quoted in media as saying, “I married to him (Dilip) on 18th October, 1963, when Dilip returned from Hyderabad after the Moin Ud Dowla cricket tournament on 16th of October and on 20th October he had to leave for Anand to play the Ranji Trophy match vs Gujarat and scored a 100. We didn t go for honeymoon because of his cricketing activities.

“Dilip was absent for his brother s wedding too since he was playing outside Mumbai. There was commitment and pride in playing for the country and state association. The good old days!-hardly we see them now “