Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev in PM's Australian delegation
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.
Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar
In what seems to be 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 NDTV.
"It is a wonderful opportunity. PM Modi has an open mind and is ready to listen. 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 Twitter.