All eyes will be on the IPL auction next month. There have been whispers that off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin could return to the Chennai Super Kings, which would naturally be a big boost to the franchise of trying to retain the IPL.
The IPL is expected to get underway in April, and of course, the Super Kings always attract a lot of interest, as they are one of the most high profile sides in the competition. After being released by the Delhi Capitals in 2021, a return to the Chennai Super Kings would feel like Ashwin’s career would be going full circle.
Ashwin, of course, is one of the most naturally gifted spinners to come out of India, and he transformed the soduku ball – a finger-flicked leg break – into one of the most deadly weapons in international cricket.
His figures speak for themselves. At Test level, he has picked up 430 wickets with a rather impressive economy of 2.70, while in the T20 arena, 51 matches yielded 61 wickets.
Of course, Ashwin’s experience would be invaluable to a Chennai Super Kings side that will be looking to lift the IPL for the third time in five years. There has also been a predicted Super Kings squad, and Ashwin features as one of the main spinners alongside Ish Sodhi.
The IPL has a huge following across the world, and talk of an Ashwin return to the Chennai Super Kings would certainly be rather dramatic. Ashwin has left an indelible mark on the game, and were he to return to the Super Kings, then it would certainly see their odds in the outright market shorten with bookmakers. But it’s not just India where the IPL attracts lots of interest. In Australia, for example, there is a vibrant fantasy sports community where fans can make their own draft and compete with others to win prizes. DraftStars, for example, is one of the biggest fantasy sports Australia sites, and it works well on both desktop and mobile devices. During the IPL, fantasy sports sites will continue to soar in popularity.
We won’t have to wait too long to see whether Ashwin does return to the Super Kings. However, his most recent comments were rather telling.
He said: “CSK is a franchise close to my heart, for me, CSK is like a school. That is where I joined Pre KG, LKG, UKG, primary school, then I did my middle school, and after completing 10th standard board exams, I moved to a different school.
“But after completing everything, obviously one has to come home right? So even I would love to come back home, but it all depends on the auction dynamics.”
Ashwin appears to be making all the right noises, and it will be fascinating to see how the auction plays out.
Of course, a return to the Super Kings would delight all those connected with the franchise, and Ashwin can still have a big impact.
Now, it’s just a matter of whether or not Ashwin’s dream will come true. We will just have to watch this space!