Tactically retiring out is not a common phenomenon in cricket so when R Ashwin walked back to the dugout during Rajasthan Royals’ match against Lucknow Super Giants last evening, some heads turned. 

Ashwin was declared “retired out” for technical reasons when he went back to let Riyan Parag in in the 19th over of Rajasthan’s innings. 

The move created a bit of confusion, which made it seem like Ashwin was the one single-handedly taking the decision. However, it was later revealed that it was the team’s call, something that had been discussed prior to the innings. 

The reason why teams opt for intentional retired hurt is that they want to give chances to as many batters as they can. Or maybe that one batter who they think can bring about a difference.  

The ICC law on this form of dismissal states:

A batsman retires out if he retires without the umpire’s permission and does not have the permission of the opposing captain to resume his innings. If such a return does not occur, the batman is marked as ‘retired out’ and this is considered a dismissal for the purposes of calculating a batting average.

Though many seem to think that this goes against the spirit of the game, which warrants hustle. You can’t quit. As Stephen Fleming puts it.

Nah, that’s part of the battle, isn’t it. Even if you are not hitting it well, that constant battle to come right. Some guys have started terribly and ended up with the best hundreds you can see. I like that battle…That’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? Not let someone get away with it just because they can tap out – ‘Not my day today, I am out’.

Opinions on the move are many, but the fact remains that it is well within the rules. For Rajasthan, the move hardly paid off, though. Riyan came in and scored 8 runs off 4 balls. This was far from ideal, given the fact that Ashwin, having scored 28 runs off 23 balls, could have very well managed to do that on his own. Guess it was about taking that chance.

Royals won the match by 3 runs in the end and Yuzvendra Chahal was declared Player of the Match.