MS Dhoni is one of the most popular cricketers across the globe. The former Indian skipper has won many hearts both on and off the field. His brilliance combined with humility makes him one of the most loved players in the game and it is hard to imagine the Indian Cricket Team without him.
There are many fans of Dhoni around the world who can do anything for him, and among them is a Pakistan-born fan, who is now quite known by people who watch cricket regularly.
Apart from playing a match-winning knock in the 2011 World Cup final at the Wankhede, Dhoni was also in the news for providing match tickets to a Pakistan-born cricket fan, Mohammad Bashir aka ‘Chacha Chicago’.
The bond between them has only grown stronger since then. Ahead of the 2019 World cup match between India and Pakistan, Bashir has flown to Manchester from Chicago to watch, what is being anticipated as one of the biggest clash of the tournament.
“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, told PTI.
Dhoni might not be 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.
“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,” said Bashir.
After arriving in Manchester, he checked into Pakistan’s team hotel where he met most of the squad members including captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Amir and Hassan Ali.
Bashir there clicked a picture with Indian Tennis star Sania Mirza, who is also the wife of Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik. He then checked into India’s team hotel later on Friday.
Bashir’s love for his homeland is understandable but the reason for his affinity towards India is that his wife is from Hyderabad.
His match-day uniform also has both India and Pakistan colours and Bashir calls himself an ambassador of peace.