WELL-KNOWN cricketer Mark Ramprakash was a surprise guest at the Hall Green Hindu temple last weekend.
The England player brought his family along to Diwali celebrations at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.
Thousands turned out for the festivities, with the Mayor and Mayoress of Solihull, and MP Steve McCabe, among the visitors
Vasant Parikh, the mandir’s lead coordinator, said: “One of the most wonderful things about this festival is that it can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter what their age, or faith.
“Diwali is about unity, bringing family, friends, and the community together, it is about celebrating our values, and offering thanks to God for all that we have been blessed with.”
In the run-up to Diwali, worshippers were busy preparing the Annakut or “mountain of food.”
On the day itself, visitors could enjoy traditional music, vegetarian cuisine, and the celebrations were brought to a close with a spectacular firework display.
Mr Ramprakash, whose father was Indian, said he had been “really touched” by the atmosphere, and pleased that his daughters had the chance to come along.
Diwali, also known as the Festival of Light, is the holiest time in the Hindu calendar.