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India Vs England: Ashwin pulls out of 3rd Test amidst family crisis

Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has immediately withdrawn from the ongoing third Test against England in Rajkot due to a family medical emergency, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed on Friday.

Ashwin, who joined the 500-wickets club in Test cricket on Friday after taking the wicket of England opener Zak Crawley, has immediately left Rajkot for his hometown Chennai to attend to a medical emergency in his family. "In these challenging times, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the team fully support Ashwin," the BCCI said in a statement late on Friday.

Ind-Vs-eng-Ashwin"The BCCI extends its heartfelt support to the champion cricketer and his family. The health and well-being of the players and their loved ones are of utmost importance. The Board requests respect for the privacy of Ashwin and his family as they navigate through this challenging time," the BCCI statement said.

The Board and the team will continue to provide any necessary assistance to Ashwin and will keep the lines of communication open to offer support as needed. Team India appreciates the understanding and empathy of the fans and media during this sensitive period, the BCCI informed.

Ashwin's departure from Rajkot to attend to a medical emergency came a few hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Ashwin for becoming only the second Indian bowler after Anil Kumble to claim 500 wickets in Test cricket.

"Congratulations to Ravichandran Ashwin on the extraordinary milestone of taking 500 Test wickets! His journey and accomplishments are a testament to his skill and perseverance. My best wishes to him as he scales further peaks. @ashwinravi99," PM Modi said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Ashwin etched his name into cricket history as he joined the elite club of players with 500 Test wickets, becoming only the second Indian to achieve this remarkable feat. The 37-year-old maestro dismissed Zak Crawley for wicket number 500 during the third Test against England in Rajkot.

Besides Nathan Lyon and Muthiah Muralidaran, he is only the third offspinner to reach the record. In terms of matches and deliveries, Ashwin reached the milestone the second fastest. Since making his Test debut in November 2011, Nathan Lyon is the only player who has claimed more wickets than Ashwin. Despite having played 26 more games than Ashwin, Lyon's current total of 509 is only nine more than Ashwin's.

Of all the aspects of Ashwin's career, his record at home stands out the most, with 347 wickets at an average of 21.22 in 58 Tests. He will become just the fifth bowler, following Anil Kumble, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, and Muttiah Muralidaran, to reach 350 home wickets with three more wickets.

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