India captain Virat Kohli is sporting as well as a style icon for youngsters across the world. A few months ago, even a biker was seen cruising on the highways in Pakistan sporting a shirt that displayed No.18 – Kohli’s jersey number – on his back. Back home, too, there is no dearth of crazy fans imitating the ace batsman’s style and flaunting themselves as his lookalike.
One such soul is Saurabh Gade, who works as a junior engineer with JCB, a multinational firm that makes earthmovers. He has already attained celebrity status in the country and even getting offers for advertisements. Saurabh is also getting invitations as chief guests and asked for autographs. He is not an aspiring cricketer but he has also become a celebrity overnight, thanks to his resemblance with the 30-year-old Kohli.
But life was normal for the man even a few months back. It was until he met a local MLA in his native village in Maharashtra that changed his life forever. He became an overnight sensation after the politician roped him in for a campaign rally. The MLA put up hoardings of the real Kohli to attract more people but it was Saurabh who reaped the benefits by presenting himself as the Indian captain.
“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 photoshopped Kohli’s picture,” The Indian Express quoted Saurabh as saying.
Saurabh was even roped in for product promotion
Initially, Saurabh hadn’t realized that his appearance at the political rally would be the stepping stone to the celebrity status but now he enjoys it. He is even called “Dehu’s Virat” now. Recently, a local manufacturer hired Saurabh to promote one of his products since he couldn’t afford to rope in the real Kohli. Saurabh also gets offers from various political parties to appear in their rallies.
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