File photo of Gautam Gambhir

Former India opening batter and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir has spoken out against surrogate advertising in Indian cricket. Speaking at an event with The Indian Express, Gambhir said that if BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is endorsing a fantasy league platform then other players cannot be stopped from following suit.

“If the BCCI president (Ganguly) is doing it, you can’t expect other players not to do it. If he says that no one should be allowed to do it, I think everyone should follow that … It has to come from the top. Either we should ban this completely in India. It can’t be statewise. And no one should be allowed to endorse that,” Gambhir said.

Gambhir also said that most of the sponsorship money in the IPL these days is coming from fantasy gaming platforms and it will take a collective will from the board to stop the menace of surrogate advertising.

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“In the IPL, most of the endorsements and sponsorships are from fantasy league games such as Dream 11. It should be a collective decision from the BCCI whether we should allow this to happen or not,” he added.

Gambhir also spoke about a range of topics at the event, including the culture of “hero worship” in Indian cricket.

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