New Delhi: Indian cricket legends Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar have been invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be part of the official delegation for the Australia tour in mid-November.
In what seems to be a smart cricket diplomacy, the former captains will accompany the PM-led delegation to three Australian cities -- Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. Kapil, who led India to their first World Cup in 1983, is delighted to a part of the delegation.
"It is always a great honour to represent the country - as a cricketer and as a former cricketer. I was part of (former Prime Minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee's trip to Pakistan for the Delhi-Lahore bus service and I know what it means to be part of such a privilege," Kapil told a leading Hindi news channel.
"It is a wonderful opportunity. PM Modi has an open mind and is ready to listen. While I do not yet know what the plan is, I would love to talk cricket with him," Kapil added.
The PM will be in Australia for the G-20 summit and will also visit the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which will host the 2015 World Cup final. In a series of tweets, the PM also talked about common love between the two nations, which is cricket.
"Cricket is a shared passion of Australia & India. I thank PM @TonyAbbottMHR for hosting me at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.," the PM had posted on his twitter handle last week.
"My Australia visit is both special & historic. It will be 1st bilateral visit to Australia by an Indian PM in 28 years." The Indian cricket team will also leave for Australia later this month to play four Tests starting December 4.