Veteran UAE businessman and cricket aficionado Shyam Bhatia is used to having the biggest names in the history of the game visit his private museum in Jumeirah, Dubai, which houses one of the finest collections of cricket memorabilia in the world.
But it looks like the Shyam Bhatia Museum might soon be visited by sporting royalty outside cricket.
Roger Federer enjoyed a memorable weekend at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, reaching the landmark of 100 tour-level titles after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. 37-year-old Federer joined Jimmy Connors as the only two players to win 100 tour-level titles in the open era.
Bhatia was present at the Aviation Club to witness the historic occasion. And what made the weekend even more special was his interaction with the Swiss icon on Friday where Bhatia not only presented Federer a copy of his book ‘Portraits of the Game’, but also invited Federer to his museum.
“It was a special weekend. I got to meet Roger Federer and presented him my book ‘Portraits of the Game’. He enquired about the book and said he liked the illustrations. I invited Federer to my museum and he said he will visit with his kids,” Bhatia told Sport360.
Bhatia had met Federer three years back at the Dubai Duty Free Championship and this time he got an opportunity have a detailed interaction.
Swiss icon Federer and cricket have crossed paths in the past. Indian batting icons Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli have met Federer during tournaments while the Indian team presented him a jersey during the 2015 World Cup.
Apart from appreciating the history of cricket at the museum, Bhatia aims to exchange ideas about his Cricket For Care programme – that provides kits to children in various countries – with Federer.
For the record, the Roger Federer Foundation supports education projects in six countries in southern Africa.
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