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PM Modi and Australian Premier to watch Ahmedabad Test in celebration of cricket diplomacy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the fourth Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Ahmedabad next week showcasing the shared passion for cricket as a hallmark of long-standing friendship between the two countries.

Albanese will be visiting India from March 8–11 at the invitation of PM Modi which will be the first visit by an Australian Prime Minister to India since 2017.

He will travel to Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi in a bid to further deepen the strategic, economic and people-to-people ties between the two countries regarded as close friends and partners.

“I look forward to travelling to India next week at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We will work to strengthen our security cooperation and deepen our economic, sporting and educational ties,” the Australian PM tweeted on Saturday.

In New Delhi, PM Modi and Albanese will hold the India-Australia Annual Leaders’ Summit which will focus on trade and investment, renewable energy, technology, defence and security cooperation.

The visit will also highlight strong educational and cultural ties with Australian Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell and Resources Minister Madeleine King accompanying Albanese to India along with a delegation of senior Australian business leaders.

The business delegation will participate in the India-Australia CEO Forum in Mumbai, discussing trade and investment opportunities opened up by the recent India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) and future areas of business-to-business collaboration.

Ahead of his first visit to India as an Australian PM, Albanese said that a stronger India-Australia partnership is good for the stability of the region, and means more opportunities which will strengthen the economies and directly benefit the people of both countries.

“Our relationship with India is strong but it can be stronger. It is underpinned by our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which underscores a joint commitment to working together to enhance our defence, economic, and technological interests,” said the Australian Prime Minister.

India Australia Ahmedabad Test
Last month, during his visit to Sydney, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar gifted a bat signed by skipper Rohit Sharma to Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong (Image courtesy: Twitter/@SenatorWong)

“As we look to the future, India will continue to be an important partner and close friend to Australia. I look forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in Australia mid-year for the Quad Leaders’ Summit and to visiting India again in September for the G20 Leaders’ Summit,” he added.

The two leaders are expected to reinforce the strong bond between the two countries as they engage in cricket diplomacy during the Ahmedabad Test match.

Australia have already secured their spot in their first ICC World Test Championship final following their resounding 9-wicket win over hosts India in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Indore on Friday.

Currently the top-ranked side, Australia have not lost a series during the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 and will face India or Sri Lanka in the Ultimate Test at the Oval in London from June 7 to 11.

Australia need to win the final Test in Ahmedabad to maintain their unbeaten run.

Also Read: Australia says India at the heart of its approach to Indo-Pacific and beyond