Guwahati: With Guwahati playing host to the first match between India and West Indies in a five-match series, hordes of fans have descended on the city. However, one that stands out is Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary.
A die-hard fan of master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar, Chaudhary is widely recognised for attending every home match the Indian team has played since 2001. No surprises here, the 37-year-old native of Muzaffarpur in Bihar has reached Guwahati to witness the match on Sunday.
With his trademark tricolour painted on his head and hair shaped in the form of the Indian map, Chaudhaury was seen waving the Indian flag on Saturday, while the players attended a practice session.
The ODI is scheduled to take place at the Barsapara cricket stadium in Guwahati on Sunday.
Looking back at his journey, Chaudhary told EastMojo, “My love affair with cricket started in 2002. Sachin Tendulkar scored 36 runs against England at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, and I was enchanted enough to give up everything and follow him. The next year, in 2003, India was hosting New Zealand and Australia in a tri-series. In three weeks, I cycled 1,700 km. My sole intention upon reaching was to meet Tendulkar.”
He further added, “I learnt about Sachin's press conference at the Trident Hotel. When Sachin arrived, I waded through journalists and photographers and fell at his feet. Sachin then invited me to his house for lunch, and I haven’t looked back since then.”
In a country which has a cricket obsessed member in every family, Chaudhary can be labelled as the biggest one of them all. He has attended 307 ODIs till date, with Sunday’s match being the 308th. He has been to 66 Test, 72 T-Twenty, 60 IPL as well as three Ranji Trophy matches.
“Sachin sponsors most of my travel that I undertake to attend a match. I accompany the Indian team wherever possible,” he said enthusiastically.
When asked about his ritual of waving the tricolour, he said, “I wave the flag to keep the team motivated, both during the practice sessions and during the match.”
With the match taking place on Sunday, apart from having all eyes on the teams, one will also watch out for Chaudhary, as he waves the tricolour for the Men in Blue.