Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese were each gifted with portraits of themselves fashioned by collages of Australian and Indian cricketers who represented their countries in matches played over the last 75 years.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) held a felicitation for the two prime ministers shortly before the beginning of the fourth Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. A collage of Australian players who had competed for the national team over the previous 75 years was used to create a portrait of the Australian Prime Minister, which BCCI President Roger Binny gave to Albanese.
Similarly, BCCI secretary Jay Shah felicitated PM Modi with a picture made up of a collage of Indian cricketers who had represented the Indian team. According to the BCCI, it was a special gesture to mark the 75 years of friendship between India and Australia. The portraits presented to the two leaders were made up of a collage of all cricketers who played for their respective countries in the last 75 years.
The Congress had criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for receiving his own picture from BCCI Secretary Jay Shah and had termed it the “height of self-obsession”. The Congress took potshots at PM Modi for taking a lap of honor at the stadium prior to the match. “Doing a lap of honor in a stadium you named after yourself in your own lifetime is the height of self-obsession,” Congress’s general secretary in charge of communications, Jairam Ramesh, said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, PM Modi and PM Albanese, after taking a lap of honor around the stadium, handed over test caps to their respective team captains, Rohit Sharma and Steve Smith, before the start of the match. Both the prime ministers were greeted with loud cheers before the start of the match as they took a lap of honor across the massive sports arena to celebrate 75 years of friendship between India and Australia.