Indian skipper Virat Kohli has reportedly turned down a multi-crore soft drink endorsement deal.
A health and fitness enthusiast, Virat told The Hindu that since he does not consume aerated drinks himself, he did not want to endorse the product.
Over the years, there has been a steady increase in arguments pointing out why soft drinks are "unhealthy".
A role model for millions, the Indian captain has set an example by practicing what he preaches.
The brand that he has dumped is Pepsi.
"I want to give something to people that I use, myself. The one of the reasons, I decided not to sign Pepsi is that I have undergone lifestyle change. And, I am not using that product anymore," Kohli told Business World.
"It might have been big money for me. It might have been a very lucrative deal but I opted out. We need to have some thought behind the products we promote. We must understand that people trust us," he added.
In fact in an interview to LiveMint earlier this year, Kohli, whose brand value is pegged at around $120 million, had hinted that he was going to end his association with the brand.
"When I started my fitness turnaround, it was more of a lifestyle thing initially. But now I think it has become so important to the sport —everyone’s taking it up in such a big way—that for me it’s become a part of my thinking pattern. If something goes away from that, I would not want to be a part of that or be promoting that. We are actually on the cusp of making some big changes on that front. Things that I’ve endorsed in the past, I won’t take names, but something that I feel that I don’t connect to anymore. If I myself won’t consume such things, I won’t urge others to consume it just because I’m getting money out of it," he had said.
His latest decision is a welcome move.
As Jaideep Vaidya points out in a piece for Scroll.in, "If Kohli does go on to trash the cola can, at least he will be setting the right precedent to follow – on paper – regardless of the motive or intent behind the decision."
One of the fittest sportspersons in the country, Kohli is known to maintain a strict diet and follows a gruelling fitness regime.
"It is important to eat right. I make sure that I am eating according to my body requirements. Also, I pay heed to the water I drink. To maintain a high fitness level, one needs to work for it constantly," Kohli had told The Hindu earlier.
Speaking about the need to be consistent to hone one's skills, the cricketer told iplt20.com last year,
"It is a conscious effort, to be very honest. It is more like 'Eat, sleep, train, repeat'. If you want to be consistent, you need to be boring with your training, your food and your batting habits. You cannot take the sport for granted."
In an interview to CricketNext, Kohli's childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma talked about his student's amazing transformation from a time when he used to regularly gorge on fast food.
"Kohli once told me, if I don’t set the benchmark as captain, who else will? Even as the world looks on in wonder, I know the boy behind the man. He used to gorge on butter chicken, rolls and all sorts of fast food. But today, it finds no place in his diet," he told the publication.
"In fact, he is so particular about his diet, that even when he comes over to my place, he won't have packaged juices. You either give him fresh fruit juice or you don’t. Carbs are a strict no-no and there are no binge days in his routine anymore," Sharma added.
And if you want to know about his training, nothing explains it better than this video put out by the BCCI recently.