Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- Shoaib look-alike making waves in Lucknow

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 20:17 [IST]
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Lucknow:Both are ruthless when it comes to their profession and the similarity does not end here. A 27-year-old youth from Billauchpura is basking in reflected glory -- thanks to an uncanny resemblance to Pakistan tearaway bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

Shamshuddin, a butcher who runs a mutton shop in Tudiaganj, is making waves on account of this quirk of fate, which is fetching him, stardom of sorts on the sidelines of the great cricketing action in the neighbouring country.

"When I walk through the streets, children jostle with one another to shake hands and take autographs," gushes the look-alike.

Life has changed, for good, for Shamshuddin ever since people started taking note of his resemblance and it has also improved his business.

Since his newfound fame and the attention, Shamshuddin's shop is full of people who mostly end up buying meat from him. "The business has improved a lot," he said.

The local lad, who has already developed mannerism and hairstyle like Shoaib, has now joined gymnasium, on his friends' advise, to build up his body to look more like his "hero". "I have also restarted my education as now people come over to meet me and I don't want to disappoint anyone by exposing my lack of proper education," he added.

Shamshuddin, who admitted that he had a limited knowledge about the game and restricts only to cheering for India, has a dream to visit Pakistan to "personally meet" Shoaib.

"I am a Shoaib Akhtar fan and have the dream of meeting him one day," he said and added "I and all my friends root for Sourav's Army currently in Pakistan".

Shamshuddin shares with his hero the passion for bikes and is also a fan of Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre, whose posters adorn the walls of his shop and house.

"I have a passion for bikes and I have heard that Shoaib bhai is fond of them too," he said. The Shoaib fan, one among the seven brothers and sisters, has only recently sent the Pakistan pacer an e-mail and some photographs of his own. He said, "I want to convey the 'Rawalpindi Express' of Pakistan that there exists a 'Lucknow Mail' very much like him in this city of Nawabs".

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