India vs Pakistan: MS Dhoni-Inspired Pakistan-Born Fan Cheer For India In Manchester
Mohammad Bashir has been getting match tickets from MS Dhoni since the 2011 World Cup.
MS Dhoni is one of the most popular cricketers across the globe. The former India captain has won many hearts with the way he carries himself on and off the field. Apart from playing a match-winning knock in the final of World Cup 2011, Dhoni was also in the news for providing match tickets for a Pakistan-born cricket fan, Mohammad Bashir aka "Chacha Chicago". Since then, his bond with MS Dhoni has blossomed. Bashir has so much trust in Dhoni that he has travelled all the way to Manchester from Chicago to witness the marquee contest between India vs Pakistan without buying tickets. The two teams will lock horns at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Talking to PTI, Bashir said that he knows Dhoni will make sure that he is at the stadium when the first ball is bowled.
"I arrived here yesterday and saw that people are ready to pay as much as 800-900 pounds for a ticket. A return ticket from Chicago costs the same. Thanks to Dhoni, I don't have to struggle for a match ticket," the 63-year-old, who owns a restaurant in Chicago and is an American passport holder, said.
Thanks to Dhoni's benevolence, Bashir supports the Men in Blue over the country of his birth during any India vs Pakistan game. Dhoni is someone who is not easily accessible for even his teammates at times but has never disappointed Bashir.
"I don't call him as he is so busy. I keep in touch only through text messages. Long before I came here, Dhoni assured me of the ticket. He is a great human being. I can't think of anyone else doing what he has done for me since that 2011 game in Mohali," Bashir said.
India vs Pakistan is one such contest, for which fans are willing to pay a fortune and thanks to the 37-year-old Dhoni, Bashir gets to watch the exciting contest for free.
"Imagine I get the ticket for free when most would pay a fortune for it. I have got a surprise gift for him this time and I hope to give it to him later today," Bashir added.
After arriving in Manchester, he checked into the Pakistan's team hotel where he met most of the squad members including captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Amir and Hassan Ali.
One of his selfies was with Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis star wife Sania Mirza, an Indo-Pak union just like him and his wife. He checks into the Indian team hotel later on Friday.
Bashir, who has overcome three heart attacks, carries as many 12 medicines when he is travelling. Before coming to the UK, he was in Saudi Arabia with his grandson during the holy month of Ramadan.
"It is not easy with my medical condition. Ab toh aisa lagta hain jab tak cricket chal rahi tab tak saasen chal rahi hain (May be I am alive only for cricket)," Bashir added.
(With PTI inputs)