The IPL 2022 match between Rajasthan Royals and Lucknow Super Giants at the Wankhede Stadium saw Ravichandran Ashwin become the first batter in IPL history to be tactically retired out.
This could become a regular fixture in 20-over cricket prior to the ICC Men's T20 World Cup later this year.
Promoted to No. 6, Ashwin was on 28 off 23 when he walked off, allowing Riyan Parag to join Shimron Hetmyer in the middle. Parag ended up scoring eight off four balls. Hetmyer struck 59 off 36 as RR finished on 165 for 6.
"I literally have no idea about that retire-out decision from Ashwin! It was a good decision in the end," Hetmyer told Star Sports during the innings break.
Only four batters, including Ashwin, have been dismissed retired out in T20s. Shahid Afridi for the Pakistanis, Sonam Tobgay of Bhutan and Sunzamul Islam of Cumilla Warriors round up the list.
Law 25.4.3 states, in part: "If a batter retires for any reason other than (injury or illness) … the innings of that batter may be resumed only with the consent of the opposing captain. If for any reason his/her innings is not resumed, that batter is to be recorded as 'Retired – out'."
Royals coach Kumar Sangakkara praised Ashwin for his role in the victory and the sacrifice he made for his team by retiring his innings in the 19th over.
"Ashwin himself was asking from the field as well, and we had discussed it just before that, as to what we would do," Sangakkara said.
"I thought the way Ashwin handled that situation, walking in (in the 10th over) under pressure, the way he batted to support the team. And then finally, (he) sacrificed himself in terms of being retired out, (which) was just magnificent.
"And then he went out in the field and backed it up with an excellent, excellent bowling effort."
Commentators across the world also praised the move, with many believing it will become a regular occurrence in 20-over cricket by the time the ICC Men's T20 World Cup commences in Australia in October.
The tactic was also successfully used by the Sydney Sixers during the final of Australia's Big Bash League earlier this year.
On that occasion, the Sixers decided to retire injured batter Jordan Silk with two runs required from the final delivery as Jay Lenton came to the crease to help scramble the winning runs.