Skipper Virat Kohli has expressed hope that the Indian team can repeat history by winning another World Cup in England, 36 years after its maiden triumph in 1983.
At a reception hosted by the Indian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ruchi Ghanashyam, Kohli told the Indian diaspora that “special things” can happen together.
“We can feel the love and warmth. We really look forward to all the support that we can get from all of you throughout this campaign,” said Kohli in reference to the diaspora support at the ICC World Cup fixtures across England and Wales.
The event to welcome the Indian cricket team to the UK was attended by senior Indian-origin parliamentarians and entrepreneurs as well as British Foreign Office ministers Mark Field and Lord Tariq Ahmad.
“It was in the UK in 1983 that we won the first World Cup. I think we are all hoping that history is going to repeat itself,” said Ghanashyam, in her welcome message to the Indian team at her London residence on Friday evening.
“This is a very important relationship that we have between India and the UK, the relationship in the arena of sports – particularly cricket. It was in 1932 that India played its first international game against the UK and in 1953 that we won the first international against England,” she recalled.
The Indian envoy also confirmed that the cricket diplomacy initiative launched by Prime Minister Narenda Modi during his visit to the UK last April for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is set to kick off from October.
“The Prime Minister announced a scheme for training 30 girls and 30 boys from Commonwealth countries during CHOGM last year. This shows the importance of cricket, not just to India but for all the countries of the Commonwealth and I want to take this opportunity to thank the BCCI because it is they who would be conducting this training,” she said.