Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles, who visited India for a 2+2 ministerial dialogue, interacted with the young cricketers and also played ‘gully’ cricket at the premises from the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Monday. Marles, who attended the historic India-Australia Cricket World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahemadabad, was joined by the young cricketers aged between 14 and 18 years at the stadium premises.
Apart from playing cricket, Marles also took bites of some street foods including Ram Laddoo and lemon juice, where he gained first-hand experience of using a digital payment interface to pay for the street food.
Taking to social media, Marles expressed his joy and said that he had donated cricket kits to the young players in a bid to strengthen relations between the two nations. “Playing gully cricket with some budding legends of the game today in New Delhi, where I had the honor of donating cricket equipment on behalf of Australia,” he wrote on
Earlier in the day, Marles, who is also Defense Minister, visited the National War Memorial with Foreign Minister Penny Wong and laid a wreath at the Memorial in Delhi. The two Australian leaders will co-chair the India-Australia 2+2 Dialogue with their Indian counterparts, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.
Earlier, Marles had said that “India is a leading security partner for Australia and our comprehensive strategic partnership is one of the practical and tangible actions that directly benefits the Indo-Pacific region.”
Further noting that this year has seen a number of firsts in India-Australia defense relations, including the visit of an Indian submarine to Perth and Australia’s hosting of the Malabar exercise, Marles added that all this demonstrates the growing closeness of the two countries’ defense and security partnerships. according to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs. “Our cooperation with India is at the heart of Australia’s approach to ensuring the Indo-Pacific remains open, inclusive and resilient,” he added.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Wong said the India-Australia partnership is essential to the stability and prosperity of our shared region. “As we deepen our defense and security cooperation, Australia is committed to building closer partnerships with India for the benefit of our region, in the Indian Ocean, South Asia. East and in the Pacific,” she emphasized.
Additionally, the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue is the cornerstone of India-Australia relations and an opportunity to move forward in working together to shape the kind of region they want.
The second India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue will be held in the national capital on Monday, during which a wide range of strategic, defense and security issues are expected to be discussed between the two countries, according to an official statement.
(With contributions from the agency)
Also read: India-Australia 2+2 Dialogue: What are the agendas as two allies strengthen their comprehensive strategic partnership