Dubai: Cricket has the power to unite people irrespective of their nationalities. The ongoing Asia Cup 2018 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a shining example of sport being the glue to bond people of India and Pakistan.

India and Pakistan don't play bilateral cricket series due to political tensions but it is not stopping the supporters of neighbouring nations to share friendship.

Also read: India eye record 7th Asia Cup title

In the Asia Cup, the two teams have met each other twice and in both contests, the Rohit Sharma-led Indian side triumphed quite convincingly.

Off the field, there is this heart-warming story of friendship between India's most famous fan - Sudhir Kumar and Pakistan's Mohammad Basheer.

The bond between the duo, which blossomed in 2011 during the World Cup in the sub-continent, reached another level when Basheer sponsored Sudhir's trip to UAE for the Asia Cup after the Indian was unable to get in touch with batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, who takes care of his expenses.

The two are sharing a room in the same Dubai hotel where the Indian team is staying.

"I called Kumar to ask when he is coming to Dubai for the Asia Cup. But I found him a bit disheartened because of no sponsorship, so I paid for his ticket and stay in Dubai," Basheer told AFP news agency in Dubai.

The 37-year-old Sudhir is spotted at India's matches with his body painted in the tri-colour and number 10 (Tendulkar's jersey number). He is a Tendulkar supporter but still continues to watch games even after his retirement. He is often seen with the message "Miss you Tendulkar" on his chest.

Also read: Bhuvneshwar Kumar's phone call consoles crying kid

"I owe this tour to Basheer who has shown that friendship has no boundaries. We pull each other’s legs during the matches but at the end of the day cricket brings people of the two nations closer," Sudhir thanked the Chicago-based Pakistani.

Sudhir has so far watched India's 64 Tests, more than 300 ODIs and 72 T20Is. For him, the most memorable is his tour to Pakistan in 2006.

"I can't forget the Pakistan tour for the love and following I received. I went through various hassles to get a visa for Pakistan and when I reached Wagah on a bicycle they initially did not allow me to cross the border but somehow I managed," he recalled.

Basheer, who runs a restaurant in the US, said that his wife is from Hyderabad and hence he supports India too.

"My wife is from Hyderabad in India, so I support India because of my wife and Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Pakistan because it is my country of birth," Basheer, who gets match tickets from Dhoni, said.

Sudhir wants to remain a bachelor and says he is “married to cricket”.

“Every time my elders ask me to marry I run away from home for cricket. I have left various jobs to satiate my thirst for the game, which is my life and wife,” Sudhir declared.

Basheer admitted at being "sad" with no bilateral series between the neighbours.

"People-to-people love exists, no matter what happens at the top level. India and Pakistan not playing each other in their countries is sad and I always pray that relations get back to normal so that we can play each other," the Pakistani said.

Sudhir has "high hopes" with World Cup winning captain Imran Khan taking over as Pakistan's Prime Minister.

"I have high hopes with Imran. I await the day when we play each other in their country ... that day will come," he said.