Saina Nehwal has raised to the position next to Sachin Tendulkar and Dhoni!
A hat-trick of titles, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, a very dramatic Commonwealth Games gold medal and now possibly a medal at the Asiad too. That's made her one very popular girl indeed and not just with the public! Now this girl isn't just the pride of Haryana but all of India.
Saina has won three titles this year. She's world number 3 and the Commonwealth Games gold medal has doubled her value with the sponsors. Airtel, who have always used the biggest celebrities for their branding, have signed her on for 1 crore. The ad is due to hit your TVs by the end of this year.
While Dhoni has more brands in his credit, Sachin gets more per deal. Sehwag is probably number 3 at 1.5 crore per year per endorsement. Saina though clearly is the number 1 non-cricket sportsperson in India, having replaced Sania Mirza whose poor form has left her with just 2 brands.