A look at how fitness and health has taken priority in Indian cricket
He holds the mug firmly like he is gripping the bat, the weapon through which he has demolished many bowlers, en route to winning the U19 World Cup. Yes, we are talking about Prithvi Shaw – the newest entrant in the list of cricketers lapping up endorsements.
What stands out about Shaw is the responsible head he has above his shoulders at a tender age of 18. He has taken a conscious call to promote brands that put health above everything else and his first endorsement deal with Protinex – a leading protein health drink – highlights the stand Shaw has taken.
Soft drink companies have often roped in stars from the sporting world to endorse their products and that has often resulted in sales shooting up from them. However, with fitness and diet being of pivotal importance to a sportsperson, it is refreshing to see the Indian U19 cricket team captain spreading a protein health message to other youngsters in the country.
Another captain of the Indian team, Virat Kohli, had also taken a similar stand a year back when he refused a multi-crore deal from a soft-drink company. And Shaw’s move to endorse health drink Protinex has set tongues wagging and added fuel to the comparisons being bestowed on the two ever since Shaw emulated Kohli’s feat of winning the U19 World Cup.
Similarities between Shaw and Kohli
“I am excited about Prithvi (Shaw). I have heard a lot about him and Ravi Bhai (Shastri) has also told me many things about him. He has had a lot of good performances in first-class cricket, which is rarely seen. He has been made the captain ahead of the boys, who have played U-19, there is special ability in him, that we have seen.”
* Virat Kohli on Prithvi Shaw ahead of the 2018 U19 World Cup.
A born leader, Prithvi Shaw captained his youth team Rizvi Springfield to twin Harris Shield Titles - the most prestigious trophies in Indian youth cricket, before going on to represent Mumbai early last year. Virat Kohli’s early career also has eerie similarities as he represented Delhi in various age-groups before making his List A debut aged 16, same as Shaw. He captained Delhi for 2 years winning the Vijay Merchant Trophy before he was selected to represent the India U19s.
In 2008, Virat Kohli scored 235 runs in the U19 World Cup en route to winning the trophy and Shaw bettered that by smashing 261 runs in India’s victorious campaign in the 2018 edition of the tournament. Both the players rose to stardom instantly due to leading India to a World Cup win with Shaw touted to be destined for great things like his counterpart.
Right now, Kohli is one of the most marketable athletes in the entire world and Shaw continues following in his footsteps, with the U19 World Cup win helping Shaw land a lucrative multi-year deal to become the brand ambassador of Protinex.
Taking the necessary amount of protein is an absolute necessity to every sportsperson and the amalgamation of Protinex with his talent, could take Prithvi Shaw to the very top in the cricketing world, a position currently occupied by none other than Virat Kohli.
Shaw is currently replicating his U19 World Cup heroics with the Delhi Daredevils. He has scored 140 runs in 4 matches and is the team’s third highest run-getter despite playing in just 4 matches out of 9. Having made the opening slot his in the team, one thing is for sure, this Protinator’s future in the game is promising.
The talent is undoubted and the only question that remains to be answered is if Prithvi Shaw can emulate Virat Kohli on the ad circuit?