Cricket diplomacy isn’t new to India. A high-profile delegation, led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, visited the world’s largest cricket stadium named after the Indian PM and had a morning to remember amid loud cheers.
The stadium wore a festive look on Thursday, with the crowd chanting Modi’s name. The Indian Prime Minister took a lap of honour around the ground along with Albanese to celebrate 75 years of friendship between the two nations.
Grammy Award-winning Indian-American singer Falguni Shah set the tone with some popular numbers, followed by a traditional dance performance by the local artists.
Soaking the moment, the Prime Ministers, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Roger Binny, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), took a tour of the wall of fame that features several Indian cricket greats.
The toss for the series-deciding fourth and final Test was delayed by a few minutes as PM Modi presented the cap to India captain Rohit Sharma while Albanese handed the baggy green to Aussie stand-in skipper Steve Smith. The two PMs then proceeded to meet the players of both teams.
Binny felicitated Albanese while the board secretary Jay Shah feted the Indian Prime Minister. Once the programme ended, the high-profile visitors watched the proceedings from the hospitality box as Australia won the toss and opted to bat.
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