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T20 World Cup: MS Dhoni arranges complimentary pass for die-hard Pakistani fan

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MS Dhoni gave a complimentary pass  of ICC World T20 2014 to a Pakistani fan © AFP

By Kushan Sarkar

 

Mirpur: Apr 6, 2014

There is one thing about Mahendra Singh Dhoni that even his staunch critics will applaud.

Whether he is on or off the field, he loves to walk the talk. So, when he declared that the hostility associated with an India-Pakistan encounter is long over, Dhoni meant it and his latest act has proved it.

The Indian captain on Saturday arranged a complimentary pass for a die-hard Pakistani cricket fan Mohammed Bashir, who came all the way from Chicago to support his team.

Although Pakistan were knocked out in the group stage, Bashir has stayed back to watch India play the finals and now has become a “die-hard Dhoni fan” having interacted with the Indian captain.

“I was watching India’s training session [on Saturday] but I didn’t have any tickets. Dhoni is familiar with my face as he has seen me before the Champions Trophy’s Indo-Pak game in Birmingham. I told him that I don’t have a ticket to watch the finals.

“Dhoni then called some “Kaka” [trainer Ramesh Mane or 'Mane Kaka'] and told him to arrange for my ticket. Kaka promptly gave me a complimentary pass. I am completely moved by his gesture,” the new “Chacha Pakistani” told PTI.

He was over the moon after Dhoni also briefly interacted with him. .

“He [Dhoni] asked about me and I told him that I am settled in Chicago. Since I was standing there for a long time, he told someone to give me fruits. I am a Pakistan fan but for today, I am a Dhoni fan. Also I have another India connection. I am Hyderabad’s son-in-law as my wife hails from the region,” a proud Bashir said flaunting his final match pass.

During Pakistan’s matches, Bashir, who would be in his early 50′s, could be seen wearing a giant sized kurta in the design of his national flag. He has also been a big hit among the local fans after supporting Bangladesh during one of their matches.

Bashir runs a Mughlai restaurant in Chicago named “Ghareeb Nawaz” which specialises in biryani.

He is mad about cricket and will also be travelling to Australia and New Zealand next year for the 50-over World Cup.

“I have booked tickets for all the Pakistan matches.

Those cost around 20 dollars save the Indo-Pak match ticket.

It cost me around 80 dollars but never mind, it’s an India-Pakistan match, I would have bought it had it cost even more,” Bashir said.

Asked if he won’t invite Dhoni to taste his restaurant’s biryani, the talkative fan gets a trifle embarrassed. But Dhoni won’t mind if Bashir can raise the ‘pitch’ as Team India fights it out on a different pitch.

ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

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