Meet Saurabh Gade, Virat Kohli’s lookalike and a celebrity
What would you do if you resemble Indian skipper Virat Kohli – the highest paid Indian athlete, most-followed Indian sports personality and youth icon? Coming from a moderate background, Kohli has become a star in India with aspiring cricketers wanting to emulate him. But for Saurabh Gade , a junior engineer working with JCB, is already living his life.
Kohli’s doppelganger shot to fame when a candidate in panchayat elections advertised the Indian skipper to be the chief guest at his rally. What followed was a bizarre moment for the people who had come to see Kohli but Gade got his fame which he has been enjoying ever since.
“My friend in college used to say that I look like Kohli. One of my friends had taken a photo which was seen by one of the MLAs in Shirur. He called me and asked me to go to the sarpanch rally as he knew the candidate. After the rally, more hoarding came up, these had the candidate with the real Kohli. I sent the MLA’s team pictures but the quality wasn’t up to the mark. So the MLA photoshoped Kohli’s picture,” he told The Indian Express.
Gade has been busy attending political rallies ever since. Like the ‘real Kohli’, who nearly charges Rs 3 Crore for one Instagram post, he has also bagged an advertisement and is a brand ambassador of a bakery in Pune. Recently, he did a photoshoot for a clothing brand.
Gade is yet to meet Kohli but almost came close to meeting him when India and West Indies played an ODI in Pune last year. While Kohli’s century couldn’t take India past the finishing line, crowd in one of the stands made their day by meeting clicking selfies with his lookalike. The excitement among fans was such that he to two constables and an inspector had to guard him.
“There were lots of people gathered around me and police came and said it could be law and order issue. They told me to go sit in the enclosure in the stands specifically reserved for physically disabled so that I can be a bit free. Two constables and an inspector too were there for my security. Later a top police officer called me over and asked for my picture!” Gade said.
With Indian team set to face South Africa in second Test in Pune from Thursday, Gade will have another chance to fulfill his wish of meeting Kohli.