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The world’s richest cricketers

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Virat Kohli

The Super Bowl is America’s most watched TV program every year, as the 2020 championship attracted about 100 million viewers in the United States. But that’s minuscule compared with cricket, which is a much more popular sport globally than football. Here are interesting details about the sport and its wealthiest athletes. 

Cricket Popularity 

Not only is cricket the most popular sport throughout Asia, it’s also fairly well followed in England and Australia. Over 100 nations, including the United States, are represented in the International Cricket Council’s world cricket organization, with a dozen “full members.”

Top teams ranked in 2020 included England, India, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. The ICC has both men’s and women’s tournaments. 

Cricket includes elements of baseball, but is much more complex and high scoring than even basketball. The 2019 Cricket World Cup drew a record-breaking TV global audience of 1.6 billion, as England defeated New Zealand.

Top 5 Highest Paid Cricketers

Believe it or not, even though lotto winners get bigger payouts than most CEOs make in a year, the top Cricketers are still wealthier than most lottery winners. They even outperform many famous movie stars and recording artists as far as net worth. 

The wealthiest cricket player in the world in 2020 is Sachin Tendulkar of India, whose net worth is $120 million (USD). He’s been playing cricket since age 11. As a pro, he’s played in many international tournaments over the course of two decades and set the record for highest-run scorer. 

Number two on the list is Mahendra Singh (MS) Dhoni of India, whose net worth is $111 million. He has also set records such as most wins in T20s and most wicket-keeper catches. Part of his wealth is attributed to launching the lifestyle brand SEVEN and his film production work. 

Ricky Ponting of Australia, number three on the list, has a net worth of $65 million. After his playing career he moved to being a commentator and coach. 

Virat Kohli of India, one of the most successful batsmen of all time, is number four on the list with a net worth of over $60 million. In 2016 he was named Player of the Year and Leading Cricketer. Under his leadership, India won the World Cup in 2008. 

Rounding out the top five is Brian Lara of Trinidad, who has a net worth of $60 million. His records include highest individual score and second highest batting performance ever. In 2012 he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. 

Other Wealthy Cricketers

  • Shane Warne of Australia (net worth: $50 million)
  • Virender Sehwang of India (net worth: 40 million)
  • Yuvraj Singh of India (net worth: $35 million)
  • Shane Watson of Australia (net worth: $25 million)
  • Jacques Kallis of South Africa (net worth: $13 million)

Cricketer Salaries 

How much do top pro Cricketer salaries pay per year? Australia captain Steven Smith took the highest salary in 2017, earning $1.47 million. Other leading ICC leaders are Joe Root ($1.38 million), coach Ravi Shastri ($1.17 million) and captain Virat Kohli ($1 million). 

Other than these incredible exceptions, top ECB players earn in the range of $350,000 to $1 million, while mid-level players get $80,000 to $180,000. Players from certain countries such as England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand also command a share of their board’s commercial earnings. The BCCI pays its players 26 percent of its annual gross revenue as part of a commercial rights agreements. Each player’s pay is based on the number of matches they play. 

Pay definitely varies depending on teams. The top tier teams are Australia and England, followed by second tier teams South Africa and India. The middle tier includes New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh and Zimbabwea are in the bottom paying tier, where salaries range from $15,000 to $60,000.  For match fees, once again it comes down to country. India pays the most for tests and ODIs, while England pays the most for T20s.

This article was brought to you by The Cricket Paper, the UK's best-selling cricket publication, on-sale every Sunday.
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