Canadian PM plays cricket, hockey in Bangalore



Bangalore: Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper signed off his six-day visit to India on a sportive note Friday by playing cricket and hockey with students of Bishop Cotton Boys & Girls School in the heart of this tech hub.

"Soon after driving into the school, Harper entered the sports ground and wielded a bat to play with the school's cricket team led by its captain Ankur Biswas, who is in the 12th standard. He faced one over of pace bowling after Biswas explained to him the rules of the game," a state protocol official escorting the Canadian delegation told IANS here.

Though Harper managed to connect the bat with a couple of balls, he was eventually bowled out by pacer Prithvi of ninth class.

"After playing cricket for a while, Harper moved to the adjacent hockey ground to dribble with the stick and flick the white ball by joining the school's girls team led by captain Nandini S. Patil of 12th class," the official said.

Canadian Sports Minister Baljit Gosal, however, joined the rival boys team led by Yash Gopalka, a Class 12 student.

"In the 10-minute game, the boys' team with Baljit in the forwards outplayed the girls' team with Harper too in the front scoring two goals against nil. Harper took the defeat in a sportive spirit and congratulated Gosal for his skills with the stick," the official recalled.

Earlier, Harper and his wife Laureen Harper were greeted by the boys and girls of the premier convent school in the city waving the Indian tri-colour and Canadian flag. Both of them shook hands with students.

Karnataka Diocese bishop Sadananda and boys' school principal John P. Zachariah briefed the Harpers about the school, its students and their achievements.

The Conservative Party leader, who was on a two-day visit to this tech hub since Thursday, left for Manila on an official visit to the Philippines later by the Royal Canadian Air Force special aircraft with the accompanying 90-member delegation.

IANS