Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif on Thursday to wish him for the World Cup in Australia and the two bonded over cricket after months of strained ties.
PM Modi tweeted this morning that he had spoken to Mr Sharif and the heads of other SAARC countries whose teams are playing in the World Cup to wish them luck.
Spoke to President @ashrafghani, PM Sheikh Hasina, PM Nawaz Sharif & President Sirisena. Conveyed my best wishes for the Cricket World Cup.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 13, 2015
Sources have told NDTV that PM Modi joked about Nawaz Sharif playing in a warm-up World Cup match in 1987 alongside cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who is now Pakistan's top opposition leader.
Mr Sharif reportedly laughed and said, "Kash woh din dobaara aata (I wish those days would come back.)"
After breaking the ice with cricket, the two leaders went on to discuss diplomacy, said sources.
PM Modi sounded out Nawaz Sharif on India's initiative to send new Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on a "SAARC yatra" or tour of South Asian countries, including Pakistan.
India said the foreign secretary will discuss bilateral issues during his visit.
5 SAARC Nations are playing & are excited about the World Cup.Am sure WC will celebrate sportsman spirit & will be a treat for sports lovers- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 13, 2015
Cricket connects people in our region & promotes goodwill. Hope players from SAARC region play with passion & bring laurels to the region.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 13, 2015
India take on Pakistan in its first cricket World Cup match in Adelaide on Sunday.
Mr Modi spoke to the Pakistan PM a day after US President Barack Obama had called Mr Sharif.