Gambhir backed me in my early days: Ashwin

After being sidelined for almost two years during my initial days, my first full series came just before the 2011 World Cup against New Zealand.
R Ashwin (C) during the book launch in the city on Friday
R Ashwin (C) during the book launch in the city on Friday (Photo | Martin Louis)

CHENNAI: ACE off-spinner R Ashwin was all praise for former India captain Gautam Gambhir, calling him a fighter and as someone who backed him in the early stages of his career.

Speaking at the launch of his book - I have the Streets, A Kutti Cricket Story - in Chennai, Ashwin said, “He’s (Gambhir) just unbelievable, and his hunger and the ‘not to lose’ mindset. Some people don’t smile, so what? He’s just unbelievably good at what he does and I have a massive respect towards him.

After being sidelined for almost two years during my initial days, my first full series came just before the 2011 World Cup against New Zealand. And he gave me so much confidence. I was not used to someone beyond my state, giving me that sort of confidence. Him and MS Dhoni were the only two guys who did this to me.”

The book I have the Streets - Ashwin’s biography which he has co-authoured with Sidharth Monga - traces Ashwin’s journey from the streets of West Mambalam in Chennai till the Indian team’s World Cup win in 2011, his love for cricket on the streets of Chennai, where he found the purest form of joy playing the game with his friends, and so much more. “I care very deeply about what I have written.

But I didn’t think about what sort of an impact it will leave. I can’t force upon it being a powerful story line for someone. You reading it might resonate with it. Somebody else might not. But as long as it leaves an impact on five percent of the people that read the book, I would have done my job,” Ashwin said.

Ashwin will be turning up for Dindigul Dragons in the upcoming season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League which will begin on July 5.

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