Some consider Sachin Tendulkar as the greatest cricketer of all time. For others, it's Sir Donald Bradman. But for my money, none can hold a candle to Sunil Gavaskar. As an opening batsmen, no one came close. There's a reason he set world records for the most Test runs and most Test centuries scored by any batsman. Ah, the way he could defend that wicket!
OK, I admit it. I just Googled all that. I had never heard of Gavaskar until yesterday, when Dallas-based MoneyGram announced that he had become an official company
spokesman cricket ambassador. They're bringing him to Dallas on August 9-11, where he'll sign autographs and visit the Dallas Cricketer's League, which apparently exists.
Uh, MoneyGram, hate to break it to you, but this is America. The only thing we know about cricket is that Jerry Seinfeld said "wicked googly" in that American Express commercial. What we do know about cricket we hate, even more than we hate soccer. Having the "greatest opening batsman of all time" pitching for your company is going to convince exactly none of us to wire money.
Ah, but that's not MoneyGram's strategy. Your average, red-blooded American may hate cricket, but a billion-plus people in South Asia don't, and many have relatives here who have occasion to send money to their home country.
"Gavaskar is a legend in cricket, who is very well known around the world," said Juan Agualimpia, MoneyGram's chief marketing officer. "We're excited about the value he'll bring to MoneyGram by connecting with our customers through events we're planning in various markets."
Let's not all mob him at once.
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