“India should comfortably beat Pakistan and then go on to win the tournament,” he said.
India vs Pakistan is not just about the 22 players who battle it out on the field but about the fans who gather at the stadium to cheer for the teams. Each side tries their best to outnumber the opposition which is a huge psychological advantage for the team. Among the celebrity fans is Mohammad Bashir also known as ‘Chacha Chicago.’
But, more than that, he is upset that Pakistan is no match to India, who have gone ahead in terms of cricket than their neighbours.
“Ab koi muqabla nahi raha India Pakistan ka (India-Pakistan match is not the contest it used to be). India bahut aage nikal gaya hain (India are miles ahead of Pakistan),” Bashir told PTI.
“What an era it was when the likes of Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis would play. Now I don’t even know the names of most players. India should have it easy,” he said.
According to Bashir, he has attended all India-Pakistan matches since the first one he attended in Mohali, the 2011 World Cup semi-final. That is why he regrets missing the one on June 4.
“I have not missed a single India-Pakistan contest since attending my first one in Mohali during the 2011 World Cup. I would have loved to be there in Birmingham as well but since the game is during the month of Ramadan, the trip to Mecca with my family was already planned and I will be there for a month.
“In fact, Sudhir called me only yesterday to check whether I was coming. Sadly I won’t be there but India should comfortably beat Pakistan and then go on to win the tournament,” he said.
India and Pakistan begin their Champions Trophy campaign when they face each other on June 4 in Birmingham. Bashir says that he still loves Pakistan but now, he loves India more.
“I still love Pakistan but I love India more now. Earlier I wanted Pakistan to win but now it is India. The love that I received during my first trip to Mohali in 2011 was overwhelming.
“I have come to a stage where I end up going to India almost every year and hardly go to Pakistan. I feel much safer in India,” says Bashir.