Money lures Indian fan to root for New Zealand
Wellington, March 16: There is nothing that money cannot buy you and perhaps no bond that it cannot dilute.
Such is the story of diehard Indian fan Arjun Bhardwaj, 24, who now wants New Zealand to win the cricket World Cup, according to a New Zealand Herald report on Monday.
The reason? Bhardwaj took a clean one-handed catch during a Pool B match between India and Zimbabwe at Auckland's Eden Park on Saturday, which made him the sixth person to make the draw in the "Tui Catch a Million" competition, and he currently has a share of NZ$350,000 (nearly $260,000).
The current prize pool of NZ$350,000 would be raised to $500,000 if New Zealand won its upcoming quarter-final clash. It would subsequently be raised to $750,000 if the Black Caps make it to the final and to NZ$1 million if they lifted the coveted trophy.
The cash would be split between fans taking clean one-handed catches at any of the World Cup matches held in New Zealand, brewery brand Tui said on its website. Fans have to wear a special Tui 2015 "Catch a Million" tee-shirt to participate in the competition.
Bhardwaj, the Silverdale Pak'nSave employee, who moved to Auckland seven years ago from India, said that he planned to start a business with the money and was "very, very excited".
He said this made it very hard to continue supporting his beloved India.
Defending champion India's win over Zimbabwe secured their place on top of Pool B. This has them facing Bangladesh in Melbourne on Thursday in the second quarter-final.
New Zealand will play the West Indies in Wellington on Saturday in another quarter-final.