April 21, 2009

The President meets the Prince

Martin Williamson





© The White House

George Bush tried – and failed – to swat a tennis ball with a cricket bat on a trip to Pakistan in the dog days of his presidency, but the meeting between Brian Lara and President Barack Obama in Trinidad was an altogether more successful affair.

Obama took time out from attending the Fifth Summit of the Americas to meet with Trinidad’s most famous cricketer. While his sport of choice is basketball, Obama was given a brief batting lesson by Lara, although attempts to teach him to drive were slightly less successful that his lesson in playing the forward defensive.

Obama greeted Lara by saying that he “always wanted to meet the Michael Jordan of cricket”. Lara repaid the compliment by presenting the president with a signed bat.

“It was beautiful,” gushed hotel manager Ali Khan. “You could see the expression on [Obama’s] face and his daughter’s. He was truly emotional and touched as were all of us.”

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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