Brett Lee welcomes PM Modi, says 'India is very close to my heart'

brett lee Sydney, Nov 17 : Former Australian Test cricketer, who welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Allphones Arena in Olympic Park here today, said that India has been close to his heart.

"I would like to welcome Prime Minister of India, Namaste, welcome to Australia," Lee said.

"I first fell in love with India in 1994. It is very close to my heart, beautiful people," he added.

The Prime Minister, who arrived at the event to a rousing welcome, shook hands with former Indian cricketer Javagal Srinath and Australian umpire Simon Taufel prior to his address to the Indian Diaspora.

Prime Minister Modi also shook hands with cancer-stricken cartoonist Ramesh Chandra on his arrival here.

Addressing a huge gathering at Allphones Arena, Prime Minister Modi said that he dedicated the welcome and the respect which Indian community gave him in Sydney to the people of India.

Terming Sydney as a beautiful city and Australia a beautiful country, the Prime Minister said both the countries are bound by the bond of cricket.

Prime Minister Modi is presently in Sydney on the seventh day of his three-nation tour.

After Sydney, the Prime Minister will reach Australian capital Canberra this evening, where he is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with his Australian counterpart Tony Abbot and address a joint session of the Australian Parliament on Tuesday. (ANI)