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while most of the debate in the row between Ravichandran Ashwin and Eoin Morgan during and Indian Premier League (IPL) was around who of the two was right or wrong, former India captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar said that Delhi Capitals skipper and Ashwin’s team mate Rishabh Pant could have defused the situation.

The row erupted after Ashwin ran an extra run when the ball hit Pant after a throw. It was Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) fast bowler Tim Southee who exchanged words with Ashwin first and then KKR skipper Morgan. Ashwin then celebrated animatedly when he dismissed Morgan during the KKR innings. KKR wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik later explained that Morgan had taken exception to Ashwin taking the extra run.

“What nobody asked is, why did Pant run? He was the one who was struck by the ball and if at all anybody should have known that the tradition is not to take the run after the ball is deflected, then it was the Delhi skipper. Maybe, in the heat of the battle and the anxiety to add runs to the team’s total, he took that extra run,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Mid-Day.

“But why blame Ashwin? He may not have even seen the ball hitting his skipper as he would be intent on getting to his end and may have only seen the ball that was away from a fielder and so responded for the extra run. Pant could have stepped in and defused the situation, but in the intensity of the battle and especially in the hot and humid desert atmosphere, it is extremely tough to keep a cool head, so he may have not realised what had happened,” explained Gavaskar.

Ashwin later said that he hadn’t seen the ball striking Pant but he would have taken that run even if he had.

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