The British Deputy High Commission, Bengaluru, hosted the India-England Cricket World Cup match here at Bengaluru's Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday. This World Cup is the biggest cricket tournament to date, showcasing the best of England and Wales on the global stage.
The UK and India benefit from a unique "living bridge" of people, ideas and institutions – that sits separate to the government-to-government relationship. No other bilateral relationship can compete with the sheer breadth of UK-India – perfectly encapsulated by the cricket ties.
Before the match screening, the British Council unveiled its new project titled Changing Moves Changing Minds (CMCM). The project promotes positive gender roles in boys and girls and the British Council aims to impact 300,000 children across India over the next three years.
Cricket and dance are carved into our culture for centuries in both India and the UK. The widespread popularity amongst young learners makes cricket and dance great tools in connecting with them to build a more gender inclusive and equal society.
British Deputy High Commissioner in Bengaluru, Dominic McAllister, said: "This screening is part of the British High Commission's '#SummerOfCricketINUK' campaign. Cricket is easily the most popular sport in India. 400 million people are said to regularly tune in to watch the national team play. One survey suggested that 85 per cent of Indian adults follow the sport – and 62 per cent play it at least four times a year."
"We expect Indians to attend the CWC in large numbers. 25,000 Indians travelled to Australia for the 2015 event. Estimates for the numbers planning to travel to the UK from India for CWC 2019 range from 50,000-80,000," he added.
McAllister said that Karnataka and Bengaluru have a special relationship with English cricket. The state's greats such as GR Vishwanath, BS Chandrasekhar, Syed Kirmani, EAS Prasanna, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, among others, have relished their time playing in England either for the Indian cricket team or in the English county cricket.