In Karachi-born Mohammad Bashir Bozai’s vow to surrender watching India-Pakistan play at ICC occasions, obsessive fandom follows MS Dhoni into retirement, including to issues like jersey quantity and disciples equivalent to Suresh Raina.
Travelling the world to observe the arch-rivals in motion would not make sense anymore to Bashir, aka ‘Chacha Chicago’, who endured abuses from Pakistani followers whereas cheering for Dhoni.
The well-known chacha, as a substitute, plans to go to Ranchi to satisfy the person whose sphere of affect spreads far and broad.
“Dhoni has retired and so have I. I do not see myself travelling for cricket once more with him not being round. I liked him and he liked me again,” Bashir informed PTI from Chicago, the place he runs a restaurant.
“All nice gamers must name time in the future however his retiring makes me unhappy and brings again numerous valuable reminiscences. He deserved a grand send-off however once more he’s past that,” he added.
The bond between Dhoni and his well-known Pakistani fan
The unstated bond between Bashir and Dhoni blossomed after the 2011 World Cup semifinal between the 2 international locations.
A ticket for the arguably the most important sport of the match in Mohali was a valuable commodity however Dhoni organized it for the 65-year-old, sufficient for him to “unconditionally love” the World Cup-winning captain for all times.
For somebody who survived three coronary heart assaults and cris-crossed the globe to see Dhoni in flesh and blood, cricket won’t ever be the identical. Now that he’s performed attending stay video games, his subsequent cease is Ranchi.
“I’ll go to his home in Ranchi when issues get regular (publish Covid-19 pandemic). That’s the least I can do to want him all one of the best for the longer term. I will even ask Ram Babu (one other tremendous fan, from Mohali, to come back with me).
“I might have travelled to see him within the IPL however there are journey circumstances and with my coronary heart situation, it isn’t secure to take action,” stated Bashir, whose spouse hails from Hyderabad (India), a spot he visited in January this yr.
When MS Dhoni despatched Suresh Raina to assist Chacha Chicago
He says what makes his relationship particular with the Dhoni is that they by no means interacted a lot throughout tournaments, most not too long ago the 2019 World Cup in England, however the Indian legend was at all times there to assist him earlier than he might ask.
“On some events, I did get a while with him, however in 2019, we couldn’t work together a lot. However like at all times, he organized a ticket for me.
“And in the course of the Asia Cup in 2018, he took me to his room and gave me his jersey. That was actually particular similar to the 2 instances when he gave me his bat.
“When he didn’t have the time attain me, he despatched a member of the help employees with the tickets. He didn’t have to do this however he did,” stated an emotional Bashir.
However which is his most cherished reminiscence as a lifelong Dhoni fan?
“This specific incident in the course of the 2015 World Cup I can always remember. I used to be there for a sport in Sydney and was sitting within the solar, it was extraordinarily scorching.
“Suresh Raina got here from nowhere and gave me sun shades. He stated ‘it’s from Dhoni bhai not me’. I smiled again at him.”
Such was his loyalty to Dhoni that Bashir would brazenly cheer for India and for that, he, at instances, needed to endure abuses from Pakistani followers.
“This one time in Birmingham, the Pakistani followers hurled choicest of abuses at me and even referred to as me a ”Gaddar” (traitor). I needed to ignore all of it. I like each international locations and humanity comes first anyway,” he signed off.