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From Chicago to Dhaka in support of Pakistan

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 - 8:00am IST | Place: DHAKA | Agency: dna

Md Bashir is 62 but age does not stop him from travel far and wide to root the country of origin; already purchased tickets for next-year's India-Pakistan World Cup match

Cricket has many fanatics and you may find a lot of them in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh who will go to any extent to watch their teams in action from the stands. Like the popular Sudhir Gautam from Bihar who cycles around India in the Team Jersey to be there at the venue one day before the game.

Likewise, 62-year-old Mohammad Bashir is another cricket fanatic. Yes, there is no age bar as far as fanaticism in cricket is concerned. Originally from Karachi, Bashir, with a Bangladesh flag, was roaming outside the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium here desperately looking for that one ticket that could help him enter the stadium and watch the Bangladesh-West Indies Group 2 fixture on Tuesday.

The enthusiasm to watch the game was childlike and the passion was of a different level for this sexagenarian wearing Kurta that emblazoned Pakistani flag design.

"I have been looking for one ticket to get into the stadium. They are selling Taka 2,000 ticket for Taka 4000," said a dejected Bashir.

Bashir is often seen on TV displaying different emotions as cameras pan on him whenever Pakistan play. "I am from Chicago but originally from Karachi, Pakistan. Cricket is my passion and I make sure that I am there for most of the India-Pakistan games. I also go for ICC events to support my team," he says.

So how does he manage to travel at this age and the money? "I have a Hyderabadi biryani joint in Chicago. My kids run that business. I collect a certain amount and keep a budget so that I can manage to tour that country where Pakistan play. My expense comes close to $5,000," adds Bashir.

Bashir's wife is from Hyderabad in India and they are on opposite sides whenever India play Pakistan. "We always have a fight whenever India take on Pakistan. In fact, my wife and kids get angry whenever I am off for a cricket tour. They hate my passion for the game especially at this age," he says. "I love the game very much," says Bashir, who is a fan of Sachin Tendulkar and Imran Khan.

So, has he replaced Pakistan's famous Chacha as the face of Pakistan cricket? "No not at all. I don't know why he is not here. May be he hasn't got the visa," he says.

Bashir will stay here for the whole tournament and root for Pakistan to lift the title. "After losing to India, they did well against Australia and I hope they win," he says.

Will he be going to Australia and New Zealand to support Pakistan in the 2015 World Cup? "Of course, I have already bought the tickets for India and Pakistan and the finals online. The big match cost me $80 while it was only $20 for the final," Bashir said.

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