The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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With love from Priyanka, to Pak
- Cricket board bowled over by letter recalling hospitality

Lahore, April 6: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is currently wowing the electorate in Uttar Pradesh but, a shade over three weeks ago, she bowled over Karachi.

In fact, she was as big a hit as Team India when, accompanied by brother Rahul and husband Robert, she put in an elegant appearance at the National Stadium during the opening ODI.

Actually, she continues to win more friends on this side of the border — specifically, it’s the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) which has now been wowed by her letter of thanks addressed to chairman Shaharyar Khan.

The Vadras and Rahul, it may be recalled, had the best seats in the chairman’s box.

“We’re absolutely delighted that she chose to thank us through a lovely letter. If I could add, we enjoyed her company and it’s nice that I got an opportunity to host her and the others,” Khan, a former foreign secretary and diplomat, told The Telegraph.

Priyanka’s letter, which came by courier, was written on March 18. The ODI, of course, was played five days earlier. Incidentally, the Vadras and Rahul were accorded state guest status.

The letter reads: “Our visit to your country has been rich in heart-warming experiences and memories that we will always treasure.

“Throughout our stay, we were overwhelmed by the generous hospitality, warm welcome and friendship extended to us, and the affection and support given to our cricket team by the people of Pakistan who displayed such a wonderful spirit of sportsmanship.

“Both teams were great ambassadors of goodwill and we hope ‘Cricket Diplomacy’ will continue to strengthen the bonds of friendship established between the two countries during these matches.”

“I hope you will soon give us the opportunity to welcome you and the Pakistan cricket team to our country, so that the people of India can also express the heartfelt warmth and friendship they feel for their brothers and sisters in Pakistan.

“With our sincere thanks for all your kindness and our warmest regards. Yours sincere-ly...”

Meanwhile, Khan informed that a reply is going to be sent to Priyanka’s Lodhi Estate residence “within a few days”. It hasn’t gone thus far as he has been caught up in the Test series.

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