Ardent Sachin Tendulkar and Team India fan Sudhir Gautam had given up hopes of waving the tri-colour from the Dubai International Cricket Stadium stands during the much-anticipated India-Pakistan Asia Cup 2018 tie, scheduled for September 19.

The 37-year-old, the most recognisable cricket fan in the country, did not have the financial means to arrange for the United Arab Emirates trip, let alone the accommodation for the next two weeks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

However, love from across the border has helped Sudhir realise his dream of supporting the Men in Blue at the six-team continental tournament.

When all hopes were lost, the Tendulkar fan had received a call from Chacha Chicago as the Pakistan Super Fan wanted to enquire his Indian counterpart about his Asia Cup plans.

When Sudhir explained his situation, Bashir (aka Chacha Chicago) immediately offered to help his friend with flight tickets and accommodation expenses.

"It's pure love. You know money will come and go with Allah's grace. I told Sudhir you just come here and I will take care of everything. I am not a rich person but my heart is as big as an ocean. If I help you, Allah will be happy," Bashir Chacha told from the UAE.

Sudhir added: "I handled the visa, chacha handled the tickets just for me to cheer for Team India. Chachaji also took care of everything, including the hotel and my food."

Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary
File photo of Super Fan Sudhir Gautam.DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images

Sudhir doesn't even have an iota of doubt over India's chances of lifting the Asia Cup this year. The ardent fan, who has got his hair cut in the shape of an India map, is confident that the Men in Blue will avenge their Champions Trophy 2017 final defeat against Pakistan on Wednesday.

"We lost the Champions Trophy final against them last year but 2018 is ours. We will take revenge against them here and Asia Cup is ours," Sudhir said.

Bashir Chacha, on the other hand, said he will happy even if India wins and insisted "cricket is just cricket" at the end of the day.

"India and Pakistan game will happen every year. Last time we won [Champions Trophy final] and this time I will be happy if you win the game," Bashir said.

Tale of friendship amid political tension between the neighbours

The tale of heartwarming friendship comes at a time when the relationship between the two Asian neighbours are strained.

The Indian government had ruled out possibilities of resumption of bilateral cricket ties between the two countries, citing the increase in cross-border terrorism over the last 12 months.

India and Pakistan have not played bilateral cricket series since the latter's tour in 2012-13 season. The two sides have been meeting only in International Cricket Council (ICC) and other major international tournaments.

Only recently, former India opener Gautam Gambhir spoke against the two teams meeting even in ICC tournaments and called for the Indian government to "banish Pakistan completely".

"There should be a particular decision for the forthcoming contest between the two nations. It cannot be that India can contest Pakistan in ICC and Asia Cup tournaments and not face them for a bilateral series," Gambhir had told Wow Cricket.

"The soldiers are more important to us, the government should first protect the boundary and then play cricket."

Nonetheless, India are expected to play Pakistan twice, if not thrice in the ongoing tournament. The two will meet in a Group B encounter on Wednesday and likely in the Super Fours, starting Friday. A third meeting is on the cards, given the two Asian giants reach the final.