Sydney, Oct. 21: As Julia Gillard has proved again, when it comes to the relationship between Australia and India, there’s no diplomatic tool more powerful than cricket, a noted journalist has said.
The Prime Minister was in India last week to talk trade and cultural ties but what hogged the headlines was her announcement that the Indian cricket great, Sachin Tendulkar, would be awarded membership of the Order of Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
According to veteran journalist Daniel Lewis, it was cricket that helped heal wounds of the 2009 racist attacks and the subsequent demonstrations by the Indian community threatened long-term harm to multiculturalism in Parramatta and particularly its “Little India” suburb of Harris Park in 2009.
Parramatta’s St Andrews cricket club was invited to take part in a cricket-focused community day Parramatta City Council organised after the attacks to soothe tensions between the large local Indian population and the rest of the community, the paper said.
St Andrews president, Greg Gibb, said cricket had been a great tool for fixing the problems of 2009 and he had heard nothing negative about the Indian players in the Parramatta community.
“It’s been a good way … to bring about a lack of tension in the community – through sport,” Gibb said. (ANI)