Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, with a huge global fan following.
Franchise cricket leagues like the Indian Premier League (IPL) have further boosted the earning potential of cricketers.
In this article, we take a look at the top 10 richest cricketers in the world as of 2023.
The Top 10 Richest Cricketers
1. Sachin Tendulkar (India)
Brief description of his cricketing achievements and stature as the ‘God of Cricket’
Widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time, Sachin Tendulkar is nicknamed the ‘God of Cricket’ in India. He was India’s leading run-scorer in Tests and ODIs.
Mention his major endorsement deals over the years that contributed to his wealth
Tendulkar signed lucrative endorsement deals with brands like Boost, Pepsi, Canon and BMW during his 24-year international career.
2. MS Dhoni (India)
Highlight his captaincy achievements and popularity
MS Dhoni is considered India’s most successful captain having won the T20 World Cup, ODI World Cup and Champions Trophy. He is renowned for his calm demeanor and sharp tactics on the field.
Note his various endorsements and business ventures like ownership of ISL team
Dhoni owns a stake in Indian Super League team Chennaiyin FC and has endorsement deals with Orient Electric, Snickers and Gulf Oil among others.
3. Virat Kohli (India)
Profile his batting stats and recognition as one of the top contemporary cricketers
Currently the captain of the Indian team across formats, Virat Kohli is regarded as one of the best contemporary batsmen. He features prominently in the rankings for top batsmen in all three formats.
List his endorsements, fashion brands and inclusion in Forbes highest paid athletes list
Kohli is the face of several brands like Puma, Uber, Hero MotoCorp and has been featured in Forbes’ list of highest paid athletes.
4. Ricky Ponting (Australia)
Summary of his success as Australian captain and batsman
Ricky Ponting was Australia’s successful captain for many years including two World Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2007. He is one of the greatest batsmen scoring over 27,000 runs.
Mention endorsements like Adidas, Kookaburra etc.
Ponting had endorsement deals with Adidas, Kookaburra, Valvoline and Rexona that contributed to his wealth after retirement.
5. Brian Lara (West Indies)
Note his record batting achievements and longevity
Brian Lara is acknowledged as one of the finest batsmen of all time holding the record for the highest individual score in Tests and first-class cricket. His remarkable batting feats and longevity helped him secure contracts with brands like MRF, Pepsi and Virgin Media post retirement.
6. Shane Warne (Australia)
Profile as legendary spinner and former captain
Shane Warne is regarded as the greatest leg spinner in history taking over 1000 wickets. He captained Australia in ODIs and was known for his sharp cricketing mind.
Post retirement commentary work and brand endorsements
Warne works as a cricket commentator now and has endorsed brands like Pepsi, McDonald’s and Victoria Bitter beer.
7. Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
Mention him as greatest all-rounder produced by South Africa
Jacques Kallis is considered the greatest all-rounder South Africa has produced. He scored over 13,000 runs and took 292 wickets in Tests.
Comment on commercial value and endorsements
Kallis earned big sums from endorsements with brands like Sansui, FNB, Standard Bank and Slazenger during his playing days.
8. Virender Sehwag (India)
Describe his aggressive batting style and impact as an opener
Known for his aggressive batting, Virender Sehwag was an attacking opener who changed the course of many matches. He was the first Indian to score a triple century in Tests.
Brand endorsements like Hero Honda, Samsung etc.
Sehwag earned through endorsements with multiple brands like Hero Honda, Samsung, Reebok and TVS.
9. Yuvraj Singh (India)
Note his all-round skills and man of the tournament awards
A match-winner with both bat and ball, Yuvraj Singh played stellar roles in India’s T20 World Cup and ODI World Cup triumphs. He is a cancer survivor who has done endorsements for brands like Puma, Pepsi, Laureus Sports and more.
10. Shane Watson (Australia)
Career highlights as a top all-rounder for Australia
Shane Watson was a leading all-rounder for Australia with over 6000 runs and 200 wickets across formats. He was instrumental in winning the T20 World Cup and Champions Trophy for Australia.
Brands endorsed - Gunn & Moore, TAG Heuer etc.
Watson has endorsed renowned brands like Gunn & Moore, TAG Heuer and Canva.
Cricket’s Lucrative Makeover: Making Top Players Multi-Millionaires - Growth of Franchise T20 Leagues
Indian Premier League’s Impact
The rise of franchise-based Twenty20 (T20) leagues, most notably the Indian Premier League (IPL), has been a game changer. These leagues offer massive salaries and have made cricketing icons out of talented youngsters. Top draws like MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma earn multi-million dollar annual retainers just for IPL participation. Stars are picked via player auctions where franchises bid crores for preferred names.
Central Contracts Provide Financial Security
England and India Examples
Cricket boards offer central contracts to players, guaranteeing them a fixed annual income. For example, England’s central contracts are worth £650,000 to £925,000 for Test players and £275,000 to £550,000 for white-ball specialists. India’s Grade A contract is worth ₹7 crore ($1 million). This provides financial security to players.
Match Fees and Performance Prizes Add to Earnings
Bonuses for Milestones
Players earn well via match fees per international game or domestic tie. For example, the BCCI offers ₹15 lakh ($20,000) per Test match. Cash awards for good performances like taking five wickets also help increase earnings. Prizes for winning global tournaments like the ICC World Cup also contribute to players’ wealth.
Endorsements and Business Interests Create Vast Wealth
Kohli Top Example
Star cricketers earn massive sums via endorsements for brands, equity stakes in ventures, and business partnerships. Virat Kohli tops this list, earning around $25 million annually from his endorsements alone. Others like MS Dhoni have invested in franchises and startups. Business interests create a lucrative post-retirement path too.
Wealthiest Cricketers Led by Indians
Tendulkar Tops Forbes List
According to Forbes’ 2022 list, Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar tops the list of wealthiest cricketers with a net worth of around $170 million. He is followed by other former stars like MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and West Indians like Brian Lara. Top draws in T20 leagues like Chris Gayle also feature in the list. In all, 9 of the top 10 richest cricketers are Indians.
The growing money in cricket has made top players wealthy superstars. With the continued expansion of T20 leagues, central contracts and endorsements, cricketers are set to become even richer in the coming years. However, balancing commercial interests and cricket’s integrity remains vital.