Ravichandran Ashwin got felicitated by former Indian cricketer Farokh Engineer on March 9. Ashwin was honoured with the Dilip Serdasai Award. For those who do not know it is equivalent to Arjuna Award for cricket. Ashwin received a trophy along with a Rs. 5 lakh cheque. Ashwin got this award for his all-round performance on the West Indies tour in 2016 where he performed brilliantly both with bat and ball scoring centuries and taking five-wicket hauls.

Ashwin was asked by the anchor and also India’s former cricketer and Manager Ravi Shastri about how he felt on that West Indies tour. Ashwin replied, ” Actually most of what we have done through the season culminated in the West Indies and we had a speech in this very hotel before the team meeting prior to the tour. Virat said one thing (in the meeting). If this team can achieve something special it’s because of the fact that we could create some good memories.”

Ashwin also shared his feelings on the West Indies tour as he said, “It was a great start, we created a lot of memories than just playing cricket there. With the love, I have had in West Indies. It’s just when you step on the field and feel like you have had done well against a team, edges also do not carry to the fielders.”

Shastri also asked Ashwin on how he felt about becoming the fastest Indian bowler to take 200 Test wickets and recently sealing the deal in the Bengaluru Test against Australia. Shashtri also emphasised on the outstanding spinners who were present at the award ceremony who share almost 20,000 First-Class wickets between them. Shastri asked Ashwin who was his inspiration while growing up.

Ashwin replied, “I just heard the numbers of Erapalli Prasanna and Mr Bishan Singh Bedi. I think I will have to add my Gully cricket wickets. These are insane numbers. I don’t think I will be able to get there but I mean the stories of Mr Prasanna getting the ball to hand in the air and then actually using the rope to get the ball to dip on batsman or something is some sort of folklore in India, to actually carry that tradition forward is a great honour to me,”

He also praised Engineer for his speech, Ashwin said, ” I just had to say this, I have been fortunate enough to witness these 5 lectures and we have had Rahul Dravid, Hyderabadi VVS Laxman, Arun coach who give speeches but none as romantic as Mr Engineer tonight. It (speech) was so romantic, it is still hissing around the stage. I can’t get over it, I think every Indian cricketer should learn about Indian cricket from very special (Engineer).

Engineer too could not hold back from asking another witty question. He asked Ashwin whether there is something about Karnataka and great spinners. Is there something in the water here (he mentioned) BS Chandrashekhar, Prasanna and yourself. Ashwin had an even more witty comeback to the question. Ashwin replied, “Not to add some politics in it but we have had some Kaveri water recently.”