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India-facing online poker site, 9stacks, today announced the signing of the hugely popular cricketer Suresh Raina as its brand ambassador. As the new face of 9stacks, Raina will promote the site`s promotional campaigns across various digital platforms.
Announcing the collaboration, 9stacks uploaded the following video on its YouTube channel.
The charismatic left-handed player is a youth icon known not only as an ace batsman but also for his prowess in fielding and spin bowling. Raina is arguably one of the finest Indian T20 batsmen who burst onto the international cricket scene as a teenage prodigy. While he made his ODI debut in 2005, he played his first international test match for India five years later, in July 2010.
Raina also happens to be the first Indian batsman to hit a century in all three international cricket formats and was part of the Indian team that won the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Raina has also captained the IPL team Gujarat Lions and is the vice-captain of Chennai Super Kings.
Though this firebrand cricketer announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket last month, his fans were expected to see him play for Chennai Super Kings at the upcoming 2020 IPL. They will have to wait another year as he pulled out of the series, citing personal reasons.
Celebrity endorsements are not uncharted territory for online poker brands, and several poker sites have signed famous sports figures to sportify the image of poker. The demand for celebrity cricketers assumes more significant proportions among fantasy sports operators.
Adda52 was among the first India-facing poker sites to sign up a cricketer onboarded Jamaican star cricket, Chris Gayle, as their brand ambassador in 2018. A year later, Yuvraj Singh was roped in by PokerBaazi’s fantasy gaming sister concern BalleBaazi.
In April, PokerStars India announced former Indian cricket team captain and Raina`s CSK teammate Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its new brand ambassador. Dhoni is also the brand ambassador of the fantasy gaming behemoth Dream11.
A week ago, cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle joined the fantasy sports website Fantasy Akhada as its brand ambassador. Another fantasy platform, Playerzpot, signed on cricketers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Smriti Mandhana to endorse its offerings.