Auckland, Mar 17: We all have seen Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar saving his side on several occasions, but this time a 'mere' letter of India's cricketing legend came to the rescue of Team India's die hard fan, Sudhir Gautam, in New Zealand.
You might have seen Gautam painted in tricolour, holding the national flag, a conch in his hand and cheering for the Indian cricket team in every single game. Gautam is seen cheering for Team India in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand.
As per reports, Sudhir Gautam was stopped by customs officials in New Zealand's Auckland for carrying paint bottles on Sunday morning. The officials confiscated the paint bottles and also imposed a fine of NZ$1,400 (approx Rs 65,000), for violating the law of the land.
"I was shell-shocked. I pleaded with them that I did not have that much money. I told them that I am a fan of Team India who paints himself in the national colours and goes everywhere. The officials said they understood all that, but rules were rules and they were meant to be followed. They told me that I had broken the law and I had to pay up," said Sudhir, who hails from Bihar.
It must be noted that there are strict laws in New Zealand for carrying eatables, fruits, sweets, liquid, dirt, or mud, in the shoes. The violators are penalised heavily by the custom officials for carrying such stuffs. Even India's spinner Harbhajan Singh was reportedly fined here once for carrying mud in his shoes.
It was then when he produced a letter from Sachin Tendulkar which saved Sudhir get an easy access in the country. The letter was written by Sachin Tendulkar which helped Sudhir get an Australian visa for the Cricket World Cup 2015. The customs then let Sudhir go along with his belongings and didn't ask him to pay the fine.
"It was then that I showed them the letter that 'Sachin Sir' wrote to me. I show that letter to the embassies whenever I apply for a visa. It worked like magic. They looked at me again and said, 'okay, go ahead'. It was such a relief," Sudhir added.
Sudhir had faced problems at Perth as well, when the WACA officials were not too happy about the length of the flagpole that he was carrying during India's game against West Indies. He was allowed to enter the stadium after he assured that he'll not use the flagpole.