Indian cricket team’s biggest cheerleader to back athletes at Commonwealth Games | other sports | Hindustan Times
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Indian cricket team’s biggest cheerleader to back athletes at Commonwealth Games

A television company has signed Bihar’s Sudhir Gautam to cheer for the Indian contingent at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next month.

other sports Updated: Mar 29, 2018 18:20 IST
Ajay Kumar
Sudhir Gautam is set to cheer the Indian contingent at Commonwealth Games 2018.
Sudhir Gautam is set to cheer the Indian contingent at Commonwealth Games 2018.(Getty Images)

Even fans can turn into celebrities. Legendry cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s diehard fan and Indian cricket team’s biggest cheerleader, Sudhir Gautam, is a big one at that.

The man from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur has attracted a leading television company of the country to sign him for an endorsement for cheering Indian contingent at the Commonwealth Games (CWG), scheduled to be held at Australia from April 4-5 this year.

And for this the broadcasting company has prepared a campaign video with Gautam, with a tagline ‘Rang De Tiranga’.

Gautam said that some officials from a broadcast company approached him in June last year. “They wanted me to cheer India athletes at the CWG. I did not agree to their proposal initially as cricket is not only my passion but life,” he said, adding that he eventually relented to their request in November last year and signed an agreement with them.

He declined to disclose the amount he would be paid for the endorsement. “It’s just a token money to serve my country,” said the iconic cheer leader, who is a common face at all the venues Indian cricket team plays at home and also at several international venues.

He said the company officials have shot a video for cheering the Indian athletes participating in the prestigious game. “I can be seen boosting the morale of the athletes by saying, ‘Mere Chehre ki pahchan to ye tiranga hai. Seena chaura nahin mera, par is rang ko pahan kar khub chaura lagta hai (This tricolour is my identity. Though my chest is not broad, it appears so after being painted in the tricolour).”

Short and lean, Gautam’s passion during the matches is palpable, where he is often seen with his body painted in the tricolour and continuously waving the national flag.

He had developed the passion for cheering up the Indian cricket team in 2003 and has never looked back since. Gautam alias Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary has attended approximately 400 matches, often traveling by bicycle to reach the venue. He sometimes pedals to cricket playing venues across the Indian borders, as he did pedaling all the way to Bangladesh to witness a cricket match in 2007 and to Lahore in Pakistan in 2006.

At the matches, he paints his body with the tricolour, and usually paints the name of Sachin Tendulkar on his chest. He carries a conch with him and blows it to announce the arrival of the Indian cricket team. He had cycled for 21 days from Muzaffarpur to Mumbai to watch Sachin play for India against Australia on October 28, 2003 and this was the first tri-series match where he started supporting India by waving the Indian tricolour.