Dalai Lama to give ODI a miss

Dharamsala, Jan 25 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama will give the first international cricket match here Sunday a miss, an aide said Friday.

"His Holiness returned to Dharamsala this morning after two months. He will not be present for the match," Tenzin Taklha, joint secretary at the Dalai Lama's office, told IANS.

"There will be no public audience by the Dalai Lama till mid-February, except his short visit to Allahabad Feb 3 for Kumbh."

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association officials said they had invited the spiritual leader for the match.

During the 2010 and 2011 IPL editions, the Nobel Peace Prize winner was the centre of attraction during the matches here.

Dressed in a traditional maroon robe, the Dalai Lama, in his typical jovial style, patted the players on their back.

"My knowledge of cricket is zero. As a monk when I was growing up in the Potala Palace (in Tibet), I used to play ping pong (table tennis). But seeing the enormous response of the Indian fans towards the game, I am quite impressed. So many are enjoying, so I am enjoying," he had said.

Meanwhile, the England cricket team Friday visited the hilltop Tsuglagkhang temple, close to his official palace at McLeodganj, nine kilometers from here.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan exile administration is based in this northern hill station.

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