ashwin web DC

Picture Credit: Twitter

In a massive step, Delhi Capitals and Team India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has withdrawn from the Indian Premier League. He announced his decision on Twitter after playing in the match against SunRisers Hyderabad on Sunday, wherein DC defeated SRH in the first Super-Over of the season.

Want to support family during these tough times

Ashwin announced that he had taken this step to extend support to his family during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I would be taking a break from this year's IPL from tomorrow. My family and extended family are putting up a fight against #COVID19 and I want to support them during these tough times,” tweeted Ashwin. Ashwin's Twitter account has over 10 million followers and his profile page contains the message, "Stay home stay safe! Take your vaccine."

As of Sunday, the daily COVID-19 cases in India went past 3.49 lakh – a new record since the pandemic started last year. While other cricketers like Liam Livingstone have cited ‘bio-bubble fatigue’ as reason to pull out from IPL, Ashwin made it clear in his tweet that his priority is family.

"Expect to return to play if things go in right direction"

Ashwin's decision will be a major blow for the Delhi Capitals and the league itself, which is being held behind closed doors. Ashwin also mentioned in his tweet that he "expects to return if things go in the right direction". However, the protocols for joining the bio-bubble after leaving it will require Ashwin to have a period of quarantine in the hotel before entering the bubble again.

Delhi said in a statement that they supported Ashwin's decision. "Extending our full support to you in these difficult times, @ashwinravi99 Sending you and your family all the strength and prayers from all of us at Delhi Capitals," the team tweeted.

Delhi Capitals have finished their Chennai leg of IPL 2021 with this game and will now travel to Ahmedabad for the next set of matches.