President Donald Trump kicked off his two-day tour to India at the Motera Cricket Stadium, Ahmedabad after a grand welcome by a virtually endless crowd on Monday.
In his rally ‘Namaste Trump’, a parallel to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Howdy Modi’ in Houston last year, he spoke to a 110,000-strong attendance about India’s achievements in film and pop-culture before name-checking two of India’s best cricketers of all time.
Trump had stumbled over several Indian names, giving away his unfamiliarity with the country he claimed Americans loved. However, goofing up legend’s names took the cake from the rest of the delivery. He said, “This is the country where your people cheer on some of the world’s greatest cricket players from Soo-chin Tendol-kerrr to Virot Ko-leee.”
Interestingly, the blunder was all but brushed aside by the rapturous attendees at the world’s largest cricket stadium, who were sent into a contagious spirit of patriotism, minutes into the event when national anthems of both the countries and folk and patriotic songs blasted from the loudspeakers.
Trump had little luck elsewhere though. The International Cricket Council was just one among scores of trolls reacting at the party that ensued on the internet. Some fans were reminded of the hilarious alternate names, the popular game EA Cricket 07 featured for unlicensed Asian players.
The brand-new Motera Stadium, which was renovated after being knocked down in 2015, was inaugurated by Trump upon his arrival. The seating capacity in the now entirely-circular stadium was doubled to 110,000, up from 55,000 seats. India’s ‘MCG’ has officially overtaken the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, the largest cricket stadium until now, in terms of the number of spectators it can seat.
President Trump and Melania Trump later visited the Taj Mahal on Monday.