Pakistani sponsors Indian fan’s trip to Asia Cup 2018

Their governments might not be ready for talks, but that did not stop Pakistan’s Mohammad Basheer opening his heart, and his wallet, to ensure India’s most recognised cricket fan, Sudhir Kumar, could be at the Asia Cup.
Pakistani sponsors Indian fan’s trip to Asia Cup 2018
Indian cricket fan Sudhir Kumar (left) with his friend Mohammad Basheer


The 37-year-old Kumar, from Muzaffarpur, Bihar, has travelled all over the world supporting India but was resigned to missing the tournament in the UAE, which concludes this week, after his childhood hero and sponsor Sachin Tendulkar could not be reached in London. “I called Kumar to ask when he is coming to Dubai for the Asia Cup,” said Basheer.
“But I found him a bit disheartened because of no sponsorship, so I paid for his ticket and stay in Dubai,” added the Chicago-based Pakistani.
Basheer’s kind gesture brought the two together, sharing a room in India’s team hotel here. Unfortunately for Basheer, his gesture meant also that Kumar twice saw India beat Pakistan in the group stages of the regional six-team showpiece. And although Pakistan missed out on Friday’s final after losing to Bangladesh on Wednesday, Kumar was there to support India against the Tigers, as will his old friend from across the border. Kumar first encountered Basheer during the 2011 World Cup on the sub-continent. The pair became firm friends and have been getting together at India-Pakistan matches ever since.
“I owe this tour to Basheer who has shown that friendship has no boundaries,” said an elated Kumar. We pull each other’s legs during the matches but at the end of the day, cricket brings people of the two nations closer.” Cricket’s fiercest rivalry charges up fans from Kolkata to Karachi and millions from all over the world.
Basheer said nothing compares to an India-Pakistan match and admitted to slightly split loyalties. “My wife is from Hyderabad in India, so I support India because of my wife and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Pakistan because it is my country of birth,” said Basheer, who runs a restaurant in Chicago famous for Biryani.

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