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Himani Chandna Gurtoo, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 07, 2013
The ad game has begun for test cricket batsman Cheteshwar Pujara. Pujara, who month became the third cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir to be signed by the World Sport Group (WSG) under its player management programme, is getting brand endorsement offers from several categories.

The Saurashtra skipper is said to be charging Rs. 30-50 lakh per deal, according to a brand consultant on the condition of anonymity.

"There are many brands which are interested to sign him," said Harish Krishnamachar, country head and senior vice-president, World Sport Group. "But currently, he has signed one contract for a sports good manufacturing company."

WSG is also getting offers from real estate and financial services companies that are planning to hook the Saurashtra skipper. The company, however, denied divulging details on his endorsement fees due to client confidentiality clause.

The advertisement world is getting ready to welcome a new player.

"He can be second Rahul (Dravid)," said Piyush Pandey, ad guru and creative director, South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather, India. "Brands looking for a very stable, dependable character should grab him."

Pujara's masterly double century and his record 370-run partnership has earned him a "tireless" image. "He is actually fit for those who always feel fresh," said Prahlad Kakkar, popular Indian ad film director. "Brands can use him for his fresh, energetic, solid battery image."

Pujara has entered the league where MS Dhoni is the most popular endorser charging Rs. 2 crore, per deal, per day, closely followed by Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli who charge Rs. 1.5 crore per day, per deal.