NEW DELHI, June 14: The bond between MS Dhoni and Karachi-born Mohammad Bashir aka ‘Chacha Chicago’ blossomed during the 2011 World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan and it has only grown stronger since then.
Such is the bond that Bashir has flown in to Manchester from Chicago (approximately 6000 kms) for Sunday’s high-octane Indo-Pak contest without a match ticket. He knows that Dhoni will ensure that he is at the Old Trafford when the first ball is bowled.
“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.
The connection goes back to 2011. Bashir was bowled over by Dhoni’s benevolence when India’s World Cup-winning captain went out of his way to arrange a ticket for him for the marquee clash in Mohali, a showdown for which most fans would pay an arm and a leg to watch in person.
Eight years later, the heartwarming story of Bashir and Dhoni continues. It is not a surprise any more that Bashir supports Dhoni’s team over the country of his birth whenever the two sides clash. Dhoni might not be easily accessible for even his team-mates 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.” – PTI