Sydney: Cricket surely has an extremely strong following in India, it is apparently more like a religion, and an Indian cricket team fan has proved the point further by setting up new levels of devotion for the squad.
Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary is a committed fan of the Indian cricket team and has not reportedly missed an Indian game at home in 12 years.
India is facing Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday in their much awaited World Cup opener, and Chaudhary set the ball rolling for the high-voltage encounter a day before, when the Indian team was practising in the nets, News.com.au reported.
Chaudhary stopped just once in three hours for barely 10 seconds from waving the giant Indian flag, to give his tough painted torso a quick rest for a desperate gulp of blue Powerade a compatriot has placed at his feet.
He said through his translator that he was there since 9.30 and would never get exhausted, adding that he wants to do it throughout the day while the Team India is training.
Chaudhary did not even go up to the western grandstand for a quick picture overlooking Adelaide Oval , because he was spiritually bound to stand oval-side, waving the flag, blowing his conch and chanting tirelessly while any Indian player was training.
Even when there were three guys out there doing some light fielding practise, Chaudhary did not stop.
He continued waving the flag in figure-8 patters as a steady stream of Indian TV reporters filed past for interviews, fans lined up for photos. Eventually, he was joined by a mass of Indian fans when the net session behind the members stand finished.
Chaudhary, who is an ardent Sachin Tendulkar fan, knows that the Indian batting legend is no longer playing. Where in past years he had Tendulkar’s name and No. 10 ODI number painted on his back, it is now reportedly topped by ‘MISS-U’.
He claims that he wants to motivate the team, adding that he loves to support Team India, insisting that he travels all through India when they are playing and is a diehard fan of the Indian cricket team.
Chaudhary’s passion was formerly directed at Tendulkar, but following the Little Master’s retirement he now evenly spreads his support to the whole Indian team.
Chaudhary, who is the son of a farmer, is more of a celebrity in India and is unemployed because of his commitment to follow Indian cricket.
Chaudhary has also claimed that Tendulkar sponsors his commitment with game tickets, and other sources have suggested that the Board of Control for Cricket in India also helps out with passes, the report added.