India, June 8 -- You know a sport is of great significance to a nation if a fan who follows the said sport becomes famous for simply being that, a fan. Sudhir Gautam, the body-painted, India map-mohawked, Tricolour-waving devotee of the Indian cricket team, is famous for following the famous eleven around the cricket-playing globe. So famous, that when he arrived at the stadium in Cardiff for India's warm-up fixture to the World Cup, Indian cricket fans gravitated from all corners of the ground to take selfies under his giant flag. Gautam, however, is now celebrity enough to fork his fingers and stare into a couple of cameras before shooing away the waiting majority.

The word 'passionate' is used to describe strong fan bases of sports te...