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ICC World Cup: Pakistanis call me a traitor as I love Dhoni, says new Chacha

New Chacha, Mohammad Basheer says people feel he is disloyal to his country of birth because he loves MS Dhoni

Hmilton: The original Chacha of Pakistan, Abdul Jalil Choudhry, has not been able to make it to this World Cup due to financial constraints, and his lookalike replacement here Mohammad Basheer, is almost wishing he’d not come.

Pakistan fan Mohd Basheer with his unique kurta that has images of MS Dhoni all over it at Seddon Park yesterday. pic/ashwin ferro
Pakistan fan Mohd Basheer with his unique kurta that has images of MS Dhoni all over it at Seddon Park yesterday. Pic/Ashwin Ferro

The Pakistan-born and Chicago-settled new Chacha supports his country of birth whenever they are in action, but also has a sweet spot in his heart for India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. And he is having to cop flak from Pakistani fans Down Under for this reason.

Abused by countrymen
“During the India vs Pakistan match in Adelaide, many Pakistani fans heckled me as I made my affinity for Dhoni public. Some of them even went on to abuse me and call me a traitor. That was very sad and depressing and made me wish I had not come here in the first place,” Basheer told mid-day at Seddon Park here just before the start of the India vs Ireland clash.

Basheer has continued his World Cup tour only for the sake of Dhoni. “I love Dhoni because he is a wonderful human being. I was in India for the 2011 World Cup, and was struggling to get my hands on a ticket for the blockbuster India vs Pakistan semi-final. One Indian journalist, on learning of my predicament, sent a message to Dhoni, and the captain without even knowing who I am or meeting me, promptly sent me a match ticket, and I belonged to the ‘opposition’ camp. Dhoni won me over with that gesture,” added Basheer, dressed in a special kurta and cap that has the Indian captain’s pictures all over it.

'Girls bring good luck'
Basheer’s wife hails from Hyderabad, so he has an India connection there too. But Dhoni supercedes everything else. “Dhoni was recently blessed with a baby girl, and in our religion we believe that when a girl comes to your house, she brings a lot of good fortune. So, when I met Dhoni yesterday, just as he alighted from the team bus, I told him that, and he smiled and thanked me. Today’s match is also a sell-out and I didn’t have a ticket but I didn’t ask Dhoni. He found out and promptly sent across today’s match ticket through Mane Kaka (Indian team masseur Ramesh Mane). He’s a gem of a human being and a good human being transcends all boundaries of caste, creed and nationality. India deserves to win this World Cup because of Dhoni,” added Basheer as he ran off to pose for a photograph with another India cricket legend, Sunil Gavaskar.

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