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Pujara brushes off advertisers’ snubs

January 24, 2019

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NEW DELHI: India’s prolific batsman Cheteshwar Pujara has admitted his status as a Test specialist means he fails to bag lucrative endorsements — but said he doesn’t care.

Pujara was the hero in India’s historic first Test series win in Australia, amassing 521 runs including three centuries, but is regularly overshadowed by more glamorous team-mates including captain Virat Kohli.

“Being a [specialist] Test cricketer, I accept that there haven’t been many endorsements. I am someone who doesn’t go after endorsements,” Pujara told The Indian Express in comments published on Wednesday. “For me, the true thing is the love of the game. My father has taught me that I don’t just play for myself but for the entire country.

“What I like is the appreciation from this country and from [the] cricketing fraternity, which is more than any endorsement I might get in my life,” he added.

Pujara, 30, won man-of-the-series award in Australia, keeping the opposition bowlers at bay with his stubborn batting as he faced well over a thousand deliveries.

But unlike many Indian players who sign up with brands and become stars in a cricket-crazy nation, the unassuming Pujara returned from Australia to quietly get on with domestic cricket.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2019