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PM to watch World Cup final on TV at home


New Delhi : After watching the pulsating India-Pakistan cricket World Cup semifinal live at Mohali, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will see the final between India and Sri Lanka on television at home, informed sources said Friday.

Manmohan Singh will spend the forenoon in election campaign in Assam and is expected to return home by the time the match begins in Mumbai, the sources added.

The prime minister has keen interest in the final match, they added.

Manmohan Singh said Friday that he hoped India will win the final.

“I hope India wins. ‘Keep it up’ is all I would say,” the prime minister said when asked about his message to the Indian cricket team. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function.

“The whole nation joins in wishing the Indian cricket team,” he added.

Manmohan Singh, who leaves for Assam Satuday morning, will address an election rally at Dhakawakhana in eastern Assam, 400 km from Guwahati, at 11 a.m.

He is likely to leave Assam at 12.30 noon and reach home – 7, Race Course Road – by 3 p.m., sources said.

On Manmohan Singh’s invitation, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani came to Mohali to watch the World Cup semifinal on Wednesday.

The prime minister’s invitation and Gilani’s visit marked a new chapter in the cricket diplomacy in the sub-continent as both prime ministers decided to carry forward the peace dialogue.

President Pratibha Patil and Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the chief guests at the World Cup final at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai Saturday.