Watch: At India-New Zealand World Cup semifinal, a David Beckham show

The English football legend's first India trip has been nothing short of phenomenal with the sporting icon taking part in numerous activities on and off the ground

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David Beckham at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. — AFP file
David Beckham at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. — AFP file

Published: Thu 16 Nov 2023, 4:45 PM

The first semifinal of the 2023 Cricket World Cup will be remembered for numerous reasons. From Virat Kohli's record 50th hundred in the one-day internationals to Mohammad Shami's match-winning figures of 7-57, the game offered everything possible on the cricket field to a packed Mumbai crowd. And as India made it to their fourth final in the World Cup, there was someone in attendance who stole the show just as much as the Indian players before the game.

We are talking about none other than former England football captain and Manchester United legend David Beckham, who is on his maiden Indian visit to promote equality and empowerment for girls. The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador started his four-day tour with a visit to the western Indian state of Gujarat. On Wednesday, he was joined by another legend Sachin Tendulkar at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai where India and New Zealand locked horns for a place in the final.

https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/unicef-goodwill-ambassador-david-beckham-promotes-equality-and-empowerment-girls-his

Here are his five moments from Mumbai:

Beckham meets Tendulkar

In a video shared by the ICC, Beckham meets Tendulkar before they step onto the Wankhede ground. The two greats embrace each other and Beckham shares his experience of his first visit to India. Tendulkar then takes Beckham to the ground before recollecting his own experience of playing there in the 2011 Cricket World Cup final where India emerged victorious.

Beckham and cricket

In his interaction with Tendulkar, Beckham tells him that he used to play cricket in school and he got an opportunity to swing the bat once again in Gujarat where he met some amazing kids. The visuals showed Beckham, with a garland around his neck, playing a few shots. He then says, "Strangely enough, I felt more comfortable with the ball in my hand than with the ball around my feet."

Beckham enters the Wankhede

The atmosphere was electric when David Beckham entered the Wankhede with Sachin Tendulkar. On the ground, Beckham met the two teams and wished them luck. He also spoke with a few Indian players and said that he watched cricket when the great Sir Viv Richards and Brian Lara played and the ones he "looked up to".

Beckham plays football with Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli stole the show when he scored his 50th career hundred in the ODIs but before that, he also played a bit of football with David Beckham. When Beckham and Tendulkar were taking a stroll around Wankhede, the Indian team was warming up. It was Kohli who spotted Beckham and passed the ball to him. The former Manchester United midfielder, in his trademark style, passed the ball back to Kohli as the crowd cheered for the two.

Beckham meets Sir Viv Richards

In one of his interviews, David Beckham said that he had come to India at the "right time". Interestingly, he also got to meet Sir Viv Richards, someone Beckham grew up watching. A picture shared by Mufaddal Vohra, who regularly posts about Cricket, showed Beckham, Tendulkar and Sir Viv Richards in the same frame.

David Beckham's first India trip has been nothing short of phenomenal with the sporting icon taking part in numerous activities on and off the ground. Tell us about your favourite David Beckham moment from his India trip in the comments.

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