Taking a short break from work, President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will fly to Bengaluru on Sunday to catch the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings.
In February, this year, Mr. Solih, a cricket enthusiast, led the Maldivian team in a friendly match against a visiting Air India team that cricketer Yuvraj Singh led.
Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said Mr. Solih’s presence at Sunday’s match would reflect “the rejuvenation of the bilateral ties” between the two nations, including in the area of sports cooperation. “It also reflects the growing popularity and reach of the IPL beyond Indian shores to the wider South Asian community,” he told The Hindu over telephone from Male.
Further, Mr. Shahid said the visit was an opportunity to explore and deepen the cricketing ties between the two countries, including in facilitating training opportunities for our youth.
The Maldives is planning to build a cricket stadium with Indian assistance, to help create a new breed of Maldivian cricketers who can compete at the international level. “It is my hope and dream that one day soon I would have the opportunity to witness a cricket match between Maldives and Indian players in this very field,” he said.