Ashneer Grover, BharatPe's controversial co-founder and Shark Tank India's former judge, claimed that he once rejected star cricketer Virat Kohli as the brand ambassador of a campaign, even when he was offered to sign his actor wife Anushka Sharma in the same package.

The author of bestseller Doglapan, during the Vagehra Vagehra podcast with Yam-Rraj Ft, said that he paid half of the amount that Kohli would have charged, and signed 11 other players instead for the same campaign. After the deal details were revealed, Grover claimed that even Kohli admired his business sense.

He said that the middlemen had offered to sign Kohli and his actor-wife Anushka Sharma as a part of the package. But he refused to strike a deal as it was not interesting.

While describing the incident, Grover said that he was approached for an IPL contract with some brokers, who suggested that as the team jerseys are loaded with brand ads, he should put his ad on the back of the players.

Grover claimed that his idea wasn’t taken seriously. Ashneer said that the broker suggested that he should shortlist Kohli for his campaign.

Kohli had pegged an amount, which I won’t reveal here, he’ll take offence. They also offered me Anushka as a package deal, and I said I don’t want to repeat what Manyavar had already done. So, I asked if they could get me 11 other players for half of what Kohli was demanding. And that’s the deal I finally struck.)

He added that Kohli admired his business sense when he got a chance to share his experience. “Mere paas ek bhi player ke saath photo nahi hai, main shoot pe nahi gaya. Ek hi photo hai, Kohli ke saath baat karte hue recently.

Aur jo Kohli ke saath baat kar raha tha na, main usse yehi kissa suna raha tha, ke kaise aapko bechne aaye they, aur maine baake 11 player le liye aapko nahi liya. Kohli bola, ‘It’s very good business’, he said. (I don’t have a single photo with any player selected from the campaign. I didn’t even go for the shoots. I just have one photo of me talking to Kohli. And I was telling him about this same story. He said it was very good business).”