SACHIN’S GREATEST FAN

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Sudhir Kumar ChaudharySudhir Chaudhary, born 1981 in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, also called Sudhir Kumar Gautam, is a fan of the Indian cricket team and Sachin Tendulkar. He is widely recognized for attending every home match the Indian team has played since 2003.

. His love affair with cricket started in 2002. Sachin Tendulkar scored 36 runs against England at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, and an awestruck Sudhir was enchanted enough to give up everything and follow him.

  1. The next year, in 2003, India was hosting New Zealand and Australia in a tri-series. In 3 weeks, Sudhir cycled 1700 kms from Muzaffarpur, Bihar, to Mumbai. His sole intention upon reaching was to meet Tendulkar.
  2. He learnt about Sachin’s press conference at the Trident Hotel. When Sachin arrived, he waded through journalists and photographers and fell at Sachin’s feet. The Indian batting legend invited him home for lunch.
  3. Sachin had lunch with him and gave him a ticket for an upcoming match. Sudhir had graduation exams coming up so Sachin advised him to go attend them and return after completing them.
  4. In the match against New Zealand at Cuttack, India were in trouble so he ran on to the pitch to touch Sachin’s feet. Tendulkar told the police not to beat Sudhir up but he was still thrown out of the stadium.
  5. Soon after that, Sachin scored a century against Australia in Hyderabad. “If I ran on to the field when India was doing badly, how could I not do so when Sachin Sir had scored a hundred,” says Sudhir in an interview with Wisden India. But this time, the police did not show any mercy. Sudhir was beaten up and jailed.
  6. It has since become a yearly event. Sudhir travels to Mumbai to deliver 1000 litchis (a fruits which grows in abundance in his village in Muzaffarpur) at Tendulkar’s house. Sachin, in turn, sponsors his tickets to all India matches.
  7. Sudhir has quit 3 different jobs to follow the Indian team around the world. He first quit a job at Sudha Dairy in Muzaffarpur as soon as he had enough money to obtain a passport and travel abroad with Team India.
  8. In 2004, he landed a job at Shiksha Mitra, but for that he would have to undergo training in February. And that would’ve coincided with India’s tour of Pakistan. So he ditched the job and cycled all the way to Pakistan.
  9. During India’s tour of Pakistan, he stayed with Cha-cha, Pakistan cricket’s most famous fan, in Lahore.

That’s what sets Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary apart from the others. We’ve all seen him on television, his body painted in the Indian colors, with Sachin Tendulkar’s name painted across, blowing the conch and waving the Indian flag incessantly. Many of us have even spotted him during India matches.

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