The off-spinner is understood to have taken a blow on his right hand during the team’s practice session. Following the injury, Ashwin did not come out to bat as India put up 395 runs on the board in their first innings after batting first at Chelmsford.
He did not come out to bowl too when Essex batted in their first innings during the second day before making a brief appearance on Friday.
The 31-year-old did bowl five overs of his off-spin on the third and final day as Essex declared their first innings at 359-8. Ashwin finished with figures of 0-21 from his five overs.
The extent of Ashwin’s injury is not yet known but it is one that will have the Indian team management on their toes, especially after injuries to key pacers.
Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out of the first three Tests after aggravating a lower back injury during the final ODI between England and India at Headingley. He has since returned to India to step up his rehabilitation. On the other hand, pacer Jasprit Bumrah is facing a race against time to get fit for the Test series after he broke his thumb during the second T20 against Ireland at Dublin.
Bumrah has been named in the 18-man India squad for the first three Tests but he is expected to miss out the series opener at Edgbaston which gets under way on August 1.
The schedule for the six-team affair was released on Wednesday with India slated to play two back-to-back matches on September 18 and 19. The first of the two matches will see India take on a yet-to-be-decided qualifier, while the second will see them lock horns with arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai.
In a discussion with India TV, the former India opener stated that the team would be better served by not participating in the tournament.
“I am really shocked to see the scheduling because which country plays back-to-back cricket matches these days? There was a gap of two days in between the T20 matches in England. But here here you are playing ODIs under hot Dubai weather without a break. So, I don’t think this is a correct scheduling,” Sehwag said.
“Pakistan will be in a good shape whereas the Indian players will be tired. And if we end up losing the match, then there might be a problem. We always want India to win against Pakistan but if the Indian players are tired then Pakistan will definitely have the advantage.
“Why there’s such hue and cry over playing the Asia Cup? Don’t play the Asia Cup. Prepare the team for the home series or the away series. It’s really difficult to play back-to-back games.”
Virat Kohli’s men are currently in England where they are preparing to take on the hosts in a five-match Test series. Their England tour is slated to culminate in the second week of September while the Asia Cup is scheduled to begin on September 15.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) confirmed the player’s sentence on Friday after finding him guilty of breaching the ‘Player Code of Conduct and Contractual Obligation’.
An inquiry had been opened against the opener during the second Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Colombo after his friend was accused of raping a Norwegian woman at the team hotel. The incident took place on the eve of Sri Lanka’s fourth day victory over the Proteas.
Gunathilaka’s friend was placed under arrest by the Sri Lankan police while the batsman has been let off after questioning. The 27-year-old has not been accused in the case.
However, he has been found guilty of breaching the SLC rule which stipulates that all players are bound to be in their team hotel by midnight and cannot entertain any guests.
Sri Lanka cricket decided to suspend Danushka Gunathilaka from six international cricket matches for breaching the ‘Player Code of Conduct and Contractual Obligation’,” a statement from SLC read.
The batsman will now miss the five-match ODI series and one-off T20 against South Africa. Gunathilaka was not named in the Sri Lanka squad for the ODIs when it was announced as the inquiry against him moved forward.
The player will also forfeit his match fee for the second Test and any bonus payments for Sri Lanka’s 2-0 series clean sweep.