Cricket Diplomacy: Ahmedabad Puts on a Show for Narendra Modi and Anthony Albanese
Reported By: Sahil Malhotra
Edited By: Amrit Santlani
Last Updated: March 09, 2023, 10:55 IST
PM Modi triggered a loud roar when he raised the arms of the two captains in unison and gave a moment of the day to the photographers
The two PMs left the field moment action got underway but injected a lot of buzz into the stands. Not every day you see so much energy on the morning of a Test match
There was a different buzz in the air this morning in Ahmedabad. Patrol vehicles were on the streets as early as 6:30 in the morning and all roads were clearly heading towards the Narendra Modi Stadium. Both for cricketing and non-cricketing reasons.
Before the cricket got underway, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian PM Anthony Albanese witnessed a spectacle at the gigantic venue.
It wasn’t a normal cricket match for sure as the media contingent – both broadcast and print – reached the venue in the early hours of the day and the crowd started building up from 8 am onwards. Not a usual sight on the first day of a Test match, that too on a working day.
Follow live – India vs Australia Live Cricket Score, 4th Test, Day 1: Bharat Drops Travis Head for 7, Australia Steady After Opting to Bat
By 8:30 am, PM Modi’s visuals were flashed on the giant screens placed opposite each other in the stadium. Up went the spectators with a loud roar as the two leaders made their way out to the dais in front of the sight screen. A cultural performance took place before the two PMs handed caps to the two captains Rohit Sharma and Steve Smith during the event hosted by former India cricketer Ravi Shastri.
Today is going to be a “Yes, I was there” moment for plenty. Attendance record for a Test match all set to be shattered today. #INDvAUS @cricketnext— Sahil Malhotra (@Sahil_Malhotra1) March 9, 2023
PM Modi triggered a loud roar when he raised the arms of the two captains in unison and gave a moment of the day to the photographers!
A couple of minutes were left for the scheduled 9:00 am toss and the esteemed guests were set to begin their lap around the ground in a unique vehicle. The DJ switched between different patriotic songs but reserved the iconic “Chak De” for the last leg of the lap.
The two captains stood near the strip all this while and the toss took place after the lap was finished and both PM Modi and Albanese returned to the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) lobby to inaugurate the wall of fame.
ALSO READ| IND v AUS, 4th Test: Narendra Modi and Anthony Albanese Sing National Anthem with Rohit Sharma and Steve Smith, Watch
In the plush lobby area, pictures of all-time greats are placed on the wall and also mentions notable performers and contributors during India-Australia contests over the years. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ricky Ponting, and MS Dhoni are the faces on the wall which also has a giant picture of the two PMs in the middle.
While the two leaders looked at the all-time greats from both nations on the wall, Rohit and Smith finished the toss. When the coin went in the air, more than 25 members of the ground staff rushed to the makeshift dais and restored the sight screen area. The hoarding of the two PMs was removed, the unique vehicle was driven out of the field and the two teams assembled for the national anthems.
Smith, after electing to bat, had the pads on when he walked out to the middle and stood next to his country’s Prime Minister during the national anthem. PM Modi was by Rohit’s side during the Indian national anthem and a thunderous roar erupted after the anthem was over and the two teams applied the finishing touches before the day’s play got underway.
ALSO READ| IND v AUS, 4th Test: PM Modi, AUS PM Anthony Albanese Celebrate India & Australia’s 75 Years of Cricketing Diplomacy
It wasn’t business as usual as far as Day 1 of a Test match was concerned. The excitement could be felt in the stands, there was a different energy and packed stands, which continued to receive a steady flow of spectators at the time of writing this piece. In some time from now, the chants will shift back to cricketing matters – a loud LBW shout, a brilliant catch or a monstrous six – but for most of the morning, cricketing diplomacy took centre stage.
The two PMs left the field moment action got underway but injected a lot of buzz into the stands. Not every day you see much energy on the morning of a Test match but it’s not every day that two top leaders witness a spectacle at the world’s largest cricket stadium.
Get the latest Cricket News here