A well-known Pakistan cricket enthusiast, affectionately known as ‘Chacha’ (uncle), had a brief encounter with Indian authorities when he waved Pakistan’s national flag upon the arrival of the Pakistan cricket team at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad. Basheer Chacha, a septuagenarian, who also holds US citizenship, has been a dedicated follower of the Men in Green, passionately supporting them in international matches worldwide.
His excitement brought him to Hyderabad ahead of the Pakistan team’s warm-up match in preparation for the ICC Cricket World Cup. As the Pakistan team disembarked at the airport around 8 pm on Wednesday (September 27), Chacha couldn’t contain his enthusiasm and began waving the Pakistani flag in support as per a report by New Indian Express. However, his display didn’t go unnoticed. The RGIA police, alerted by the sight of the Pakistani flag, swiftly detained him.
Upon explanation and clarification, Basheer Chacha peacefully cooperated with the authorities. He introduced himself as an ardent supporter of the Pakistan cricket team who had come to India specifically for the match. To prove his intent, he provided his travel documents, tickets, and identity cards. After the authorities were satisfied, he was released immediately, as per the same report.
The Babar Azam-led Pakistan squad arrived in Hyderabad on Wednesady (September 27) less than 48 hours before the start of their first warm-up fixture against New Zealand at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. The team’s second warm-up game is also at the same venue on October 3 which is also where they begin their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on October 6. Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata are the other Indian cities that will host Pakistan’s matches.
While the India vs Pakistan fixture was originally slated to happend on October 15, the match had to advanced to October 14 as the date coincided with the start of Navaratri, a festival celebrated with fervour in Gujarat which is where the IND vs PAK match will be played- at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.