Cameron invites Obama to cricket match

The invitation to the cricket match came a day after Barack Obama took David Cameron to Dayton to watch a basketball game.

Washington: Visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron went in for "cricket diplomacy" as he on Wednesday invited US President Barack Obama to a cricket match, but kept the latter guessing whether it will be limited over games or the five-day test match.

The invitation to the cricket match came a day after Obama took Cameron, who is on a State visit to the US, to Dayton in Illinois to watch a basketball game.

"One of these days, I`ll get my own back by getting you to a cricket match and explaining the rules to you and some of the terminology that you`ll have to try and get straight, as I tried last night," Cameroon told Obama in front of the White House press corps and a battery of travelling British journalists.

But as the news conference at the Rose Garden went along, a British journalist was quick to remind the President what Cameroon did not inform him about.

"Mr President, this is great you`ve agreed to learn about cricket. I notice the Prime Minister neglected to tell you that a test match usually takes five days. So it`s going to be a long trip," commented Tom Bradby from Britain’s ITN news channel.

This followed a round of laughter from the press corps and the two leaders.

Indeed, the two leaders have been engaged in sports diplomacy for quite sometime now and the two enjoy it.

"I know there has been a lot of focus on last night`s game. Some have asked how it came about, so I want to set the record straight," Obama said.

The President said: "During my visit to London last year, David arranged for us to play some local students table tennis. As they would say in Britain, we got thrashed."

"So when it came to sports on this visit, I thought it would be better if we just watched. That said, I`m still trying to get David to fill out his bracket," Obama said at the start of the news conference in the White House.

Cameron thanked Obama for inviting him to the basketball in Dayton.

"Thank you very much for that, Barack, and thank you for last night`s sporting event. I thought there was a link between that and the table tennis. I remember it well," he said.

"Because I know America doesn`t like being on the losing side, I`m trying to make up to you with the gift of a table tennis table, which I hope will be there in the White House so," Cameron said as Obama interrupted in between: "We should practice this afternoon".

"I think -- well, I certainly need -- I certainly need the practice," Cameron said as he threw up the invitation of cricket match to Obama.