Sunil Gavaskar New brand Ambassador of Dubai based realty developer

“It is a real privilege and honour to have Sunny join The First Group team, acting as our brand ambassador in India," said the company about the decision

Famous Indian cricketer and former test captain Sunil Gavaskar will be endorsing The First Group, a Dubai-based property developer.

Sunil Gavaskar is one of the most celebrated Indian cricketers in the annals of the game, popular for his reputation as one of the greatest opening batsmen in cricket history.

This legendary cricketer has been named as the company’s ambassador for India. Nicknamed ‘Sunny’ by his fans, he holds records such as becoming the first cricketer to score 10,000 Test runs and 30 centuries.

Only the ‘little master’ Sachin Tedulkar is considered equal to him by his admirers in Test cricket.

Gavaskar holds the record of 34 Test centuries for almost two decades before it was broken by Sachin Tendulkar in December 2005, and was also admired for his studied technique against fast bowling, hooking and pulling some of the most fearsome bowlers of all time.

The celebrated cricketer is a recipient of the Indian civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan and in 2012, was awarded the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award for Cricket in India.

Gavaskar, who is the first cricket star to join The First Group, said it was a privilege to be part of a prestigious team of brand ambassadors.

“I am honoured to be held in such high esteem by one of the region’s most professional and dynamic property developers and look forward to promoting The First Group in India,” he said.

“Sunny is not only one of India’s true sporting heroes but is held in high esteem by cricket fans around the world,” said The First Group Joint Chairman Danny Lubert.

He added, “It is a real privilege and honour to have Sunny join The First Group team, acting as our brand ambassador in India, where his high profile will help spread our message to potential investors in this booming market.”

Gavaskar will join the league of an elite team of sporting celebrities who represent the organisation in key global markets.

They include football legends Michael Owen of England, Liverpool and Real Madrid fame, Riyadh Al Nassr FC striker Majed Abdullah, retired Nigerian striker Nwankwo Kanu (‘Kanu’) and Ukrainian international soccer icon Andriy Shevchenko, as well as Russian tennis star Svetlana Kuznetsova and famed South African rugby international Bryan Habana.

Indians were the second largest group of realty investors in the Dubai property market in H1, 2016, according to data issued by the Dubai Land Department (DLD), investing some AED7.27 billion (US$1.9 billion).

Only Emiratis invested more in Dubai real estate, ploughing AED14.523 billion ($3.9 billion) into 4,543 investments during the first six months of the year.