UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appears to be an ardent cricket fan. What’s more, he is good at playing the game too. This was evident when Sunak hosted the members of England’s ICC World T20-winning team at his residence at 10 Downing Street.
Sunak’s interest and expertise in cricket don’t come as a surprise considering his connections with both England and India - two countries with strong cricket traditions. He played some delightful drives and rolled his arm over to good effect too following a reception for Jos Buttler’s men. See the video of Sunak’s cricketing brilliance here:
View this post on Instagram
Also read - Babar Azam Receives Pakistan’s Third-highest Civilian Honour
“As both Prime Minister and a lifelong cricket fan it was a pleasure to welcome members of the victorious World Cup-winning side and young cricketers from the ACE programme to Number 10. This is a hugely exciting time for English cricket, with success on the field across all formats and the Ashes taking place in England this summer. Cricket is a sport for everyone and I know that the success of the team will inspire kids from all backgrounds to get involved in the game," Sunak said in a statement, according to a report in The Independent.
The England cricket delegation was led by skipper Buttler and white-ball coach Matthew Mott. They were joined by ‘Man of the Tournament’ Sam Curran apart from Liam Livingstone, Chris Woakes, Dawid Malan, Phil Salt, Tymal Mills, Chris Jordan, and Richard Gleeson.
England defeated Pakistan by five wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in November last year to bag their second ICC World T20 crown. This victory came close on the heels of England’s maiden ICC World Cup title win in 2019. Curran played a stellar part in the final, scalping three wickets for just 12 runs in his quota of four overs. Then with the bat, England’s hero of the ICC World Cup in 2019, Ben Stokes hit a sparkling 52 not out off 49 balls to take the side home. In the process, Stokes also exorcised the ghosts of 2016 when his last over had seen Carlos Brathwaite smashing four sixes off four balls to hand West Indies an improbable title win.
Also read - Pat Cummins’ Emotional Post Grieving Mother’s Death Leaves Followers Teary-eyed
The England cricket delegation was welcomed officially by former Prime Minister Theresa May. Buttler presented Sunak with a shirt signed by the members of the entire team. Sunak then chose to engage with the players informally and make the event memorable rather than doing the ordinary thing to do - delivering a run-of-the-mill speech.
England’s director of men’s cricket Rob Key, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chair Richard Thompson and several youngsters from Surrey’s ACE programme, which is a charity looking to improve pathways for black cricketers, were present at the event.
Sunak, in this regard, can be said to share the love for cricket with former Prime Minister John Major, who once told Wisden, “Even if you’re in dispute politically with certain countries, if you’re playing cricket with them there’s a relationship that otherwise wouldn’t exist – and we’ve seen this for 150 years. Cricket is a universal healer – sport is to a certain degree, but cricket is in particular because of the nature of the game."
Get the latest Cricket News here