Even as he is preparing his team, Dindigul Dragons, for this season’s inaugural TNPL clash here on Wednesday, India all-rounder R. Ashwin has a keen eye on the football World Cup.

What is Ashwin’s favourite side in the World Cup? “It’s Spain but the side is already out. My next favourite is Belgium, and it’s in the semifinals. Hope for the best.”

Interesting answer

On why he picked Belgium, Ashwin had an interesting answer.

“I just liked the name, it’s a nice name. Right from my school days, from the first time I watched football, I was attracted to the name. I have always rooted for the underdog.”

Ashwin agreed that the weather in England for the T20 series was as bright as “Chennai and Tirunelveli” but added the English pitches could still have juice in them.

He said, “The techniques of the preparation of the pitches have advanced so much that all these things [like the bright weather] do not matter anymore. Of course, the overhead conditions will play a part.”

Ashwin said he wasn’t allowing the forthcoming India-England Test series to occupy his mind.

“I am not even thinking about that at the moment. I am focusing on my cricket, enjoying my cricket, bowling, batting at the nets.”

Dwelling on TNPL, Ashwin said, “Like all other creative people, cricketers need a platform where they can showcase their skills. The TNPL provides that. You get to know the team culture, develop your skills, learn to play under pressure.”

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