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During breaks in action, TV cameras have constantly panned to the crowd and to one chubby kid in particular. Dressed in the India ODI jersey, with the tricolour painted on his cheeks and a flag in his hand, Shabad has been a perpetually vocal figure, much to the delight of commentators such as Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Navjot Sidhu and Rameez Raja. Shabad is fast becoming a mini-star, with many fans getting their pictures clicked with him.
Since his spectatorial debut during the 2006 Test against England, Shabad, a student of Strawberry World School in Chandigarh, has been a regular at the PCA stadium. “My voice has choked due to screaming but I love every moment of it. Whenever a game is played at the PCA Stadium, me and my brother make it a point to come and support the Indian team,” he says. “I would have loved it if Yuvi paaji were in the team. My energy would have doubled.”
Shabad, in fact, is related to Yuvraj Singh and comes from the maternal side of his family. “I follow cricket because of Yuvi paaji,” says Shabad. “He spent time with us at my home. He said that the crowd at Mohali is not that sporting for the visiting teams but I want to be a sporting cricket fan who doesn’t use abusive words and at the same time will cheer the team the most.”