Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar, who is considered no less than God on the field, has turned down a 20 crore rupees-deal to endorse a top liquor brand.
The highest run-getter in Tests and ODIs, Tendulkar said that does not want to promote liquor or cigarettes on moral grounds.
Though the brand tried to entice the bastman by quoting a whopping figure of Rs20 crore a year to become its ambassador, Tendulkar, who has had a traditional Maharashtrian upbringing and is proud of his middle-class roots, let the offer go just as he confidently leaves those tempting deliveries outside the off stump.
“He (Sachin) has decided not to endorse products that are harmful to one’s health ever and has stayed away from them. This time, however, the lure was too high. Yet, he said no to the offer,” a source close to the batsman said.
Since Indian laws forbid alcohol and cigarette companies from advertising their products, the offer to Tendulkar was to appear in a surrogate advertisement, which would promote the liquor firm’s brand.
Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians team-mate Harbhajan Singh and India player Yuvraj Singh were recently chastigated by Sikh religious bodies for appearing in a surrogate advertisement for a whisky brand.
Despite their short career spans, several athletes have refused the bait of endorsing liquor or cigarette brands.
Badminton star Pullela Gopichand turned down a lucrative offer from a soft-drink giant to endorse their cola. He also refused to do cigarette ads immediately after winning the prestigious All England Badminton Championship.
Some Bollywood stars too have chosen principles over money. Actor Akshay Kumar refused to endorse a pan masala company earlier this year while Abhay Deol has expressed reservations over endorsing cigarette brands and fairness creams.