17 most dedicated cricket fans and fan groups across the globe

It is fans who make the game what it is. It’s all about their emotions. Millions of people are associated with this game and they are the main reason behind the success of this sport. Some of the fans are too patriotic and absorbed that they make cheering their sides the sole purpose of their existence. Abhishek Kumar lists out 17 most dedicated cricket fans/fan groups across the globe.

 

1.  Chacha Cricket

chacha cricketWhite beard, full green Salwar Kameez and a white cap designed on patterns of Pakistan flag. Chaudhry Abdul Jalil is one of the most dedicated supporters of the Pakistan side. He became world famous during the Sharjah cup matches in 1980s and he supported the side like no other fan. At that time he was a truck driver in UAE. Later Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hired him and sponsored him to cheer for Pakistan cricket team all-over the world. But during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, PCB didn’t sponsor him. Further he was again seen during the ongoing Pakistan versus Zimbabwe series in Lahore as he famously chanted, “Pakistan Zindabaad” and “Jeetay Ga Bhai Jeetay Ga, Pakistan Jeetay Ga.”

 

2.  Shoaib Al Bokhari

shakibWe can call him a mad Bangladesh cricket fan or Yellow Tiger with a human coat. Motor mechanic by profession but his true identity is crazy Bangladesh fan. He can cheer his side all day irrespective of it being chilly day in Christchurch or the extreme weathers of subcontinent. He would never care about from where he would get his next meal or if he will he get a proper bed to sleep or not. His journey has not been easy as over the years his side have lost more matches but Bokhari hasn’t stopped cheering and it’s been nine years since he is cheering the side. However, things have changed now and Bangladesh’s emergence as a strong cricket unit has brought Bokhari limitless joy.

 

3.  Barmy Army

barmy armyBarmy Army is a group of English cricket fans, which was founded by three friends who travelled to Australia for the Ashes series of 1994-95 season to cheer England. The name ‘Barmy Army’ was given by Australian media as they never stopped chanting for England, irrespective of the side’s good or bad performances. It’s a very much organised community, where supporters of England cricket join to cheer their team in a unique style. Apart from Lords, in most of the grounds, there are set areas for Barmy Army fans.

 

4.  Stani Army

stani armyStani Army is a group of Pakistan supporters in United Kingdom, also known as the 12th man of Pakistan cricket team. This group is very much similar to Barmy Army of England. The group consists of interesting characters which is led by Mr Captain (Amjad) with Sheikh of Pakistan, Pakistan Man, a King, a dictator, a Doctor and many more in Pakistan attire. The term Stani has been derived from the country’s name Pakistan.

There is also a website named staniarmy.com, where fans of Pakistan cricket can join, interact, discuss with other supporters.

 

5.  Swami army

swami armyThe largest organised group of supporters for Indian cricket team. It was formed during the Border- Gavaskar series in 2003-04 season in Australia when India defeated the kangaroos in the Adelaide Test. India had won a Test in Australia after 22 years and it was their first win in Adelaide. The group that started with 10 core members have crossed the 5000 member mark.

 

6.  Percy Abeysekera

percyPercy is a legend and is synonymous to Sri Lankan cricket. He has been supporting his team since the time they didn’t even have Tests status. He rose to fame during the 1996 World Cup, which Sri Lanka won. At the age of 77, he retired after Sri Lanka won their first ever Twenty20 World Championship in 2014. Percy, who claims to have watched over a thousand games, retired as he needs to take care of his ailing sister.

 

7.  Chacha T20

chacha t20Mohammad Zaman Khan is famously known as Chacha T20. He was a chauffeur in Dubai but resigned from his job in 2011 to cheer for Pakistan in Asia Cup as his leave application was not approved. When he was child, his dream was to serve his country as an army man but he couldn’t complete his education, went to Dubai and used make sweets. Since 1987, he has been watching cricket matches of Pakistan in ground alongside the famous Chacha Cricket. He has been a frequent to Pakistan’s matches in the UAE. Pakistan in the last six years have played a lot of games in the UAE due to security issues back home and Chacha T20 has been there to cheer them. He was once asked in an interview famously said that he wishes to be buried with the Pakistani flag, just like a soldier. Zaman is 57 years-old and is gaining popularity by the day.

 

8.  Bharat Army

bharat armyThis is another group similar to the Barmy Army. It was founded by four Indians in England to support the Indian cricket team around the world. This group was founded in 1999 when England hosted the World Cup. From then onwards, Bharat Army continued building their patriotic and loyal base. This group was frequently seen during India’s matches in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

 

9.  Mohammad Basheer Bozai

basheer bozaiBorn in Pakistan, settled in Chicago, Bozai, who has an Indian wife, is a huge fan of Indian cricket great Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Isn’t it quite interesting! Bozai is one of the rare people who neutrally support both India and Pakistan cricket team. He was first seen during the ICC T20 World Championship 2014 in Bangladesh, where Dhoni gifted him a ticket for the final match. Before the Indo-Pak clash in the World Cup 2015 he was seen chanting on the streets of Adelaide, “Jis desh me Ganga behti hai us desh ki meri biwi hai.”

Basheer is 55 year-old and originally from the vast southern metropolis of Karachi.

 

10.  Sudhir Kumar Gautam

sudhirTri-coloured painted body, shaved head with an India map carved on his scalp with hair and a painted name of Sachin Tendulkar on his body, Sudhir Kumar Gautam is one of sports’ most iconic fans. Not to forget his famous conch shell that he blows often. Born on 1981 at Muzaffarpur, Bihar, he is widely known for attending India’s home matches since 2003. Initially he used to work in a milk company and was trained as a teacher. Later, he was sponsored by BCCI for every match. He was also seen celebrating with the World Cup trophy with Sachin Tendulkar after India’s victory in 2011 World Cup. His parents were unhappy with his living style and he was also the subject of a documentary movie called “Beyond all boundaries”, made by Sushrut Jain. Despite Tendulkar’s retirement, Sudhir continues to travel with the Indian team and supports them.

 

11.  Larry the leprechaun

larry“Peel a banana, mash a banana, throw a banana, and let’s go bananas!” That’s what we hear from the dedicated Irish fan. His real name is Adrian Raftery and is a lecturer in a university in Australia for Taxation. During the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, he used to came out as ‘Larry the leprechaun’ sporting a fake beard, long Irish hat and a traditional Irish attire. He is basically an Irish-Australian as his parents came Down Under in the 1970s as skilled migrants.

 

12.  H Saravanan

h saravananLike Tendulkar, even Dhoni has a wide fan following. H Saravanan is one of the biggest Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) fans. He paints his body yellow with Dhoni’s name and jersey number on his body. He also sports a fake black wig as he cheerfully waves the CSK flag. Saravan says that it takes five hours to complete the painting work on his body. Though he grew up watching and admiring Tendulkar, it was Dhoni’s side’s T20 World Championship victory in 2007, which forced him to turn into a dedicated Dhoni fan.

 

13.  Sudesh Piyatissa

sudesh Every fan has his own style of supporting his national team and Sudesh is no different. In fact, he is a creative man. He came up with an idea of making a video which includes players like Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, etc. as the Lion King of Sri Lanka. He was seen sporting an eye-catching orange costume during the World Cup 2015. He sold the costume to hundreds of Lankan fans through his website prideoflanka.com.au and donated all the money to a Sri Lankan charity supported by Sangakkara and Jayawardene.

 

14.  Carl Teusner

carl teusnerTeusner is a die-hard fan of Australian cricket team and was seen during the World Cup 2015 in a Kangaroo costume. He would have never imagined that he would get this much of attention during the tournament. Teusner met with cricketers like Brett Lee, Michael Slater and Mark Waugh during the event. He was highly inspired by the Ireland’s Larry the leprechaun which made him do something extraordinary for Australia.

 

15.  Gayan Senanayakagayan

Gayan is another super-fan of Sri Lankan cricket team, who began making frequent appearances as a 17-year old in 1996. Sri Lanka winning the World Cup has inspired many peoples and Gayan was one of them. He has attended more than 200 games at home and abroad. He is famously known for chanting, “Common Sri Lanka!”

 

16.  Gravy the entertainer

gravyGravy is synonymous to Caribbean cricket. His famous style of entering the ground with the band artists, variety of costumes like white wedding dress and his indifferent dancing skills was loved by both spectators and cricketers. His dancing around while sporting the cricket kit is one of the symbols of West Indian cricket. He was never paid for his activities like other special fans. Since 1988, Gravy started entertaining the crowds till his retirement in 2000. After his retirement, he now runs a hardware stall in St. John’s, Antigua. Born on 1955, his real name is Labon Kenneth Blackburn Leeweltine Buckonon Benjamin. In February 2004, he was shot in the arm, which he later clarifies that it had happen mistakenly as he never had any problems with anyone.

 

17.  Ram Babu

ram babu Here is another crazy Dhoni fan. Wherever the Indian captain goes, Ram Babu follows him. Before the Twenty20 World Cup final 2014, he fell sick and Dhoni himself rushed to his aid and ensured he got treated by the Indian cricket team doctor. Ram Babu is basically from Haryana and had also played till the district level in Punjab. Death of his father in 2007 forced him to quit cricket, as he was the eldest in his family and now had the responsibility of three younger sisters and three younger brothers. After leaving cricket, he started a job but couldn’t kept himself out of sport and later turned into one of the biggest Dhoni fans. He is mostly seen alongside Sudhir and like the Tendulkar fan, he too paints his body with the tri-colour along with Dhoni’s name and jersey number.

 

(Abhishek Kumar is a cricket devotee currently staffing with Criclife.com. He can be followed at abhicricket.kumar and abhishekkr2593)

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