Melbourne, Mar 2(ANI): Former Australian leg spinner Shane Warne is on a mission to reinforce friendship between Victoria and India, after a string of attacks on the Indian citizens in the state have strained ties between the two countries.
Warne met a dozens of members of the Indian community during a picnic of curries, samosas and sandwiches held at Parliament House, as part of an informal chat about the violence against Indian students.
The 40-year-old, who has a huge profile in India for his record-breaking Test career and Rajasthan Royals' success in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has been vocal about the attacks and is eager to find ways to ease off tensions between the two countries.
"It's important for me as a Victorian ... to keep building the relationship with India and Australia, and in particular Victoria. I want to listen, really, to hear what the students have to say and see what these guys, how they're feeling about things," The Age quoted Warne, as saying.
"I think the state sells itself, it's just such a great state, it's a great city to live in. I'll keep pushing the message across over there, I love India, I love Rajasthan when I play cricket there, so to me it was a natural thing," he added.
Last month, Warne had met Victoria Premier John Brumby to discuss how to address issues stemming from violent attacks.
He had given the state Government the thumbs-up for its attempts to rebuild Victoria's battered reputation in India.
"The Premier, who I think is doing a good job, and I are both on the same wavelength. We are both passionate about Victoria and Melbourne. I think statistics show Melbourne has a low crime rate for a major city, and I know it is a great place to live," Warne had said. (ANI)