India vs England: Ravichandran Ashwin returns to third Test in Rajkot

Ravichandran Ashwin became the ninth bowler to reach 500 Test wickets on the second day in Rajkot

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is returning to the third Test against England after missing the third day because of a family emergency.

Ashwin will be back in Rajkot on Sunday’s fourth day and will be able to take part immediately.

“The team and its supporters have stood united in support of Ashwin during this challenging period,” said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“The management is delighted to welcome him back to the field.”

The 37-year-old initially withdrew from the game on Friday evening.

At the time, BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla wrote on X (formerly Twitter) Ashwin had to “rush and leave Rajkot Test to Chennai to be with his mother”.

Earlier on Friday, Ashwin became only the ninth bowler to reach 500 wickets in Tests.

India were unable to name a replacement player, but in Ashwin’s absence, took eight wickets for 95 runs to bowl England out for 319 and take a first-innings lead of 126.

The home side have since stretched that advantage and will set England a huge fourth-innings target, with Ashwin available to aid their bid to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

“The team management, players, media and fans have shown immense understanding and empathy, acknowledging the importance of family as a priority,” said the BCCI.

“Ashwin and his family kindly request privacy as they navigate through these challenging times.”

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