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Gayle, Rhodes and Pietersen extend wishes after PM Modi sends messages on Republic Day

As India celebrates its 73rd Republic Day, PM Narendra Modi has written to celebrated cricketers Jonty Rhodes, Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen acknowledging their "profound connection" with the country.

Chris Gayle, Modi, RhodesChris Gayle, PM Modi and Jonty Rhodes. (FILE)

West Indies’ swashbuckling batter Chris Gayle and former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes have wished India on 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday. Both took to Twitter after receiving personal messages from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gayle, 42, who represents the West Indies in international cricket, spoke about his special bond with Indian public. “I would like to congratulate India on their 73rd Republic Day. I woke up to a personal message from Prime Minister Modi @narendramodi reaffirming my close personal ties with him and to the people of India. Congratulations from the Universe Boss and nuff love,” Gayle tweeted.

While South African Rhodes, a former Mumbai Indians fielding coach who resides in the country for a considerable part of the year, has a daughter named ‘India’, West Indian swashbuckler Gayle has been a big hit among cricket fans for his exploits in the IPL.

A couple of hours after Gayle’s tweet, Jonty Rhodes also tweeted on India’s Republic Day. “Thank you @narendramodi ji for the very kind words. I have indeed grown so much as an individual on every visit to India. My whole family celebrates #RepublicDay with all of India, honouring the importance of a #Constitution that protects the rights of the Indian people #JaiHind,” Rhodes wrote.

The PM’s letter that Rhodes shared on his social media page said,” I decided to write to you and a few other friends of India, with a sense of gratitude for your affection towards India and a hope that you continue to work closely with our nation as well as our people”

Modi also made a special mention of Rhodes’ daughter,”This special bond was truly reflected when you named your daughter after this great nation. You truly are a special ambassador of the strong relations between our nations.”

Two days after the Republic Day, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen also tweeted PM Modi’s letter to him. “Dear, Mr @narendramodi, Thanks for the incredibly kind words in your letter to me. Ever since stepping foot in India in 2003, I’ve grown more in love with your country on every visit. I was recently asked, ‘what do you most like about India’ & my answer was easy- THE PEOPLE,” Pietersen wrote.

The Indian cricket board’s Indian Premier League (IPL) has been a game-changer in the sport and every season, global cricketers make a beeline to take part in the cash-rich league which has changed lives for the better. The likes of Gayle, David Warner, AB de Villiers have all been revered and loved by cricket fans in India.

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-With inputs from PTI

First published on: 26-01-2022 at 12:17 IST
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