Australian spin legend Shane Warne today stepped in to mend his country's fractured ties with India, attending a picnic here with the Indian community, which has been targetted in a series of violent attacks in the past few months.
Warne met the community members of Victoria state, talked to them, posed for photographs and tried to allay fears of the students, saying Australia is a "great" place to live in.
"I think the state sells itself, it's just such a great state, it's a great city to live in. I'll keep pushing the message across over there, I love India, I love Rajasthan when I play cricket there, so to me it was a natural thing," Warne said.
"I want to listen, really, to hear what the students have to say and see what these guys, how they're feeling about things," said Warne, who is quite popular among the Indian diaspora in Australia.
Victorian government had asked the iconic cricketer to help them boost the state's image in India after recent attacks on Indian students in Melbourne tarnished its reputation.
The leg-spinner, also dined with the Indian students on the occasion and told the crowd: "It's important for me as a Victorian... To keep building the relationship with India and Australia, and in particular Victoria."