Veteran India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is widely regarded as one of the shrewd minds in the game. He is quite outspoken in nature and never shies away from sharing his insights on controversial topics related to cricket.
Earlier this year, Ashwin shared his thoughts on the current team culture in cricket and said that teammates used to be friends once upon a time but times have changed and they are now just colleagues.
His comments created quite a stir on social media and many former cricketers also found it baffling.
In an interview with the Times of India, Ashwin has now clarified his statement, saying that the cricketing schedule and franchise cricket have reduced the time that players spend together.
"What I said and what people are understanding are completely different. What I meant was that earlier, because the tours used to be long, there was more scope for friendship. But these days we are constantly playing --- different formats, different teams. One thing I have always believed is that when you are playing for different teams, it is very difficult to be friends," Ashwin stated.
"You have to keep that competitive spirit burning to be able to compete. When you play IPL, for three months your (international) teammates end up becoming your opposition. When you play so much for different teams, I am not saying friendship doesn't happen, but it is very difficult," he explained.
Ashwin was last seen in action during the Test series against West Indies last month. He finished the two-match series as the highest wicketkeeper with 15 wickets to his name.
The ace off-spinner hasn’t played a white-ball game for India since November 2022. It remains to be seen if he gets picked for the upcoming 50-over Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup or not.