Even his father Murugan Ramasami, a Tamil movie script and dialogue writer who has worked in Unnaipol Oruvan and Billa 2, and been closely associated with actor Kamal Haasan, could not have authored the astonishing tale involving his son at the IPL auction on Saturday.
“It was beyond my wildest dreams, I was just not looking at this kind of a number,” said a delighted M. Ashwin speaking to Sportstar after being bought by Rising Pune Supergiants for a whopping Rs. 4.5 crore. His base price was just Rs. 10 lakh.
The 25-year-old Ashwin was following the auction on television with his father, also known as Era Ramasami, when it all happened. “I was tense. I had not moved from my seat since the proceedings started. Then my name came up.
“I could not believe what I saw and heard. It was all over in a few minutes,” said Ashwin. There was both relief and joy as he celebrated.
The Chennai leg-spinner, who grew up wanting to imitate the legendary Shane Warne’s action, has had a chequered career. He made his Ranji debut in 2012 but despite promise could not retain his place owing to some technical issues. “My head was falling and I was not using my left-arm. I corrected my action using the two-step drill.”
When he was picked for the Vijay Hazare one-day and Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournaments this season, Ashwin had just three Ranji games behind him.
In his couple of outings for the State team in the Vijay Hazare tournament, India star R. Ashwin was impressed with his versatility. Then M. Ashwin grabbed some attention in the Mushtaq Ali competition picking up 10 wickets in six matches at an economy rate of 5.52.
“My strength is my big googly, which has been effective against the left-handers. I am getting my leg-spinners to turn and able to bowl a good slider. I employ my top-spinner occasionally and working on my flipper,” Ashwin said. Crucially, he has been bowling with greater control, is extracting bounce, and has an unmistakable fizz off the surface.
Marriage to Aishwarya Subramanian, a software professional, has brought a sense of stability in his life.
Ashwin is excited at the prospect of playing under Dhoni and bowling with R. Ashwin for the Pune franchise.
“There will be pressure and responsibility on me but I am going to enjoy my cricket,” concluded Ashwin.