New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Senior Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday announced that he has decided to pull out of the 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In a cryptic Tweet, the 34-year-old, who plays for Delhi Capitals, said that he wants to support his family at this time who are "putting up a fight against COVID-19".

Thanking Delhi Capitals, Ashwin, who has played five games in this season so far, expressed hopes to make a comeback in the later stage of the tournament "if things go in the right direction".

"I would be taking a break from this years IPL from tomorrow. My family and extended family are putting up a fight against COVID19 and I want to support them during these tough times. I expect to return to play if things go in the right direction. Thank you Delhi Capitals," Ashwin said.

The Delhi Capitals, which reached the finals of the tournament last year, meanwhile, have promised full support to the 34-year-old in a Twitter post of its own.

"Extending our full support to you in these difficult times, @ashwinravi99. Sending you and your family all the strength and prayers from all of us at Delhi Capitals," the franchise Tweeted.

While it is not clear why Ashwin has opted out of the tournament, a report by news agency PTI has claimed that a "very close" member of his family has tested positive for the deadly infection.

Notably, Ashwin had been Tweeting about the current situation in the country over the past few days, urging people to take all necessary precautions to break the chain of the deadly COVID-19 infection in India.

"Heart breaking to see what's happening around my country! I am not in the healthcare fraternity, but my sincere gratitude to each of them. I would also like to make an earnest appeal to every Indian to exercise caution and stay safe," he had said in one of his earlier Tweets.

India is recording over 3 lakh daily cases for the past few days and the health infrastructure is struggling to handle the rise with shortage of oxygen and some crucial medicines adding to the crisis.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma