Mumbai: JSW Sports has signed an exclusive talent management contract with Rishabh Pant who on Tuesday became the fastest Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to clock 1,000 runs as he helped India to an almost unbelievable test series victory in Australia.

Pant is the first cricketer to join the talent management roster of the $13-billion JSW Group’s sports arm, which currently manages commercial interests of Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik and wrestling star Bajrang Punia, among others.

As a sports management company, JSW Sports has been representing Olympic athletes for quite a few years now and managed to get a lot of brands for them, company director Parth Jindal said. “Over the years we’ve been able to build up the credibility of the established sports company in the marketplace and wanted to embark in cricket too,” he told ET.

On signing Pant, he said JSW Sports was looking for a “flag bearer” or a “marquee name” in cricket to start with.

Incidentally, the 23-year-old cricketer is the vice-captain of Delhi Capitals, the Indian Premier League franchise co-owned by JSW Group and GMR Group. Pant is also the brand ambassador of JSW Steel

“I’ve been talking to Rishabh for quite some time now… I truly believe that he is the next big thing in the Indian cricket,” Jindal said. “And because he is already part of our family, I think Rishabh also felt very comfortable that we will be able to represent his interests in the best possible way, and create and make him a very significant brand in the whole sporting landscape in India.”

The multi-year association between the two parties will see JSW Sports manage the athlete’s athlete’s image positioning and all his commercial engagements, including brand endorsements and appearances, social media monetisation and business deals.

Pant was a hero for India as the they recorded perhaps the most memorable come-from-behind test series wins in Australia despite a series of injury troubles that kept many top players out of the last two tests.

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