Narendra Modi's cricket diplomacy: Know more about Melbourne Cricket Ground
After his Summit talks with Australian counterpart Tony Abbott and addressing the Australian Parliament in Canberra on Tuesday, PM Narendra Modi visited the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The MCG which is considered to be one of the best cricket grounds, can accommodate over a lakh people. It is the largest cricket ground and one of the oldest in the world. The ground hosted its first international Test match in 1877.
The MCG has also hosted other major events, including Australian Football League (AFL), Rugby leagues, FIFA World Cup qualifiers and International Friendly matches. It also serves as the finish line for the Melbourne Marathon and also hosts major rock concerts. It is rare for foreign leaders to be hosted at the stadium where Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones and Madonna have performed and where pope John Paul III held a mass in 1986.
Former Indian cricketers Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and VVS Laxman were present at the occasion. Also former Australian stalwarts such as Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Dean Jones were also invited for the event. Around 600 attendees are going to attend the Melbourne speech event of Modi.
Earlier in the day, Dean Jones said he was looking forward to catching up with the Indian Prime Minister alongside Gavaskar and Kapil Dev. He expressed his views through social micro-blogging site Twitter.
looking fwd to catching up with Indian PM Mr Modi, Sunny G & Kapil Dev @MCG Can't believe and Indian PM hasn't been in OZ for 27 yrs
— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) November 17, 2014
Jones also posted a photo on Twitter alongside Kapil, Laxman and Gavaskar at the MCG on Tuesday.
— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) November 18, 2014
Modi is expected to pose for shutterbugs alongside his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott with the 2015 cricket World Cup trophy, here at the MCG on Tuesday.
Aussie Prime Minister Tony Abbot said he was looking forward to Modi's visit at the MCG.
— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) November 18, 2014
Earlier, Narendra Modi`s speech on Tuesday included a reference to cricket, saying that both Australia and India celebrated the legend of Australian batsman Don Bradman and the class of India`s Sachin Tendulkar.
But he noted this relationship broke down somewhat when Australian Shane Warne came along, mastering India`s traditional strength of spin bowling.
"I wish you the best for hosting a great and successful World Cup next year," he added, referring to the one-day tournament being hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
Also earlier, on Monday, Narendra Modi got a flavour of cricket. The occasion was a breakfast meeting hosted here for Modi by Queensland Prime Minister Campbell Newman where the former Aussie pace bowler Michael Kasprowicz was present.
Kasprowicz brought the house down when he said how Indians used to relish batting legend Sachin Tendulkar smashing him for fours and sixes. Kasprowicz, who hails from Queensland, also shook hands with Modi.