Passions and excitement is always at peak during India Pakistan cricket matches, and especially so during world tournaments. The cricket fans of both these nations pray for their respective teams to be victorious. If cricket is a fever than the body temperature is highest during a match with Pakistan. If it is a religion, then even those who watch cricket rarely make it sure to be in front of their TV sets when India Vs Pakistan is live telecasted.
Hitherto Pakistan team’s biggest fan was a 64 year old Karachi-born gentleman known as ‘ Chacha Chicago’, whose real name is Bashir Muhammad. But with the decline in the performance of Pakistan team, Mr Bashir is now rooting for the victory of India in the ICC Champions Trophy match between the two neighbours.
Mr Bashir would not be able to attend this match in Birmingham, as he will be in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, with family, performing Haj. He is sad that this will be first India Vs Pakistan match since 2011 world cup that he will miss.
He says now there is competition left between India and Pakistan, India is much ahead.
Mr Bashir is also a big fan of Mahendra Singh Dhoni since many years. And his admiration for Dhoni and loyalty towards Pakistan team never conflicted. Dhoni used to send him tickets ahead of matches and he even gifted him a cricket bat.
Mr Bashir, who runs a restaurant in Chicago, says it’s not that he doesn’t love Pakistan now, but he loves India more. Earlier he used to visit both India and Pakistan every year, but now he visits India more often than the country where he was born and raised. Mr Bashir is finding it hard to follow cricket in Saudi Arabia as most TV channels there broadcast only football. He says he will watch it on the internet.
Mr Bashir is also a good friend of Indian cricket enthusiast Sudhir Gautam, who is the biggest fan of Sachin Tendulkar. Like Mr Bashir, Sudhir has also never missed any India and Pakistan match since many years now.
Mr Bashir said that he friend Sudhir called him to ask whether or not he will be coming.
He reminisces the era of cricket when Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram and Waqas Malik were the big names and says that now he doesn’t even know the names of most Pakistani players. And on the other hand India has stars like Dhoni, Yuvraj and Kohli.