With lucrative domestic T20 leagues in reach, together with high paying national contracts, players can make a very good living from cricket in the modern day. But who are the richest cricketers in the world?
Who is the Richest Cricketer in the World?
Former Australian international Adam Gilchrist is the richest cricketer in the world. It’s said that the wicket keeper / batsman is worth around $380 million USD.
Gilchrist’s earnings come from his career in the game, but will have been boosted by brand endorsements and his current work as a commentator and analyst.
Top 10 Richest Cricketers in the World
Adam Gilchrist – $380 million
We’ve just seen that Adam Gilchrist is the richest cricketer in the world, but it’s worth putting his figures in greater context. Gilly is more than $200 million ahead of the man in second place, but why are his earnings so far ahead of everyone else?
Gilchrist would have earned significant sums from his time in the game and he will also be rewarded for his commentary work. However, the reason why he is ahead of the pack is down to him being an entrepreneur. Gilchrist set up the huge F5 fitness network and that’s contributed significantly to the numbers.
Prior to those investments outside of cricket, Adam Gilchrist just caught the new trend for franchise cricket. He played for two franchises in the Indian Premier League – Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers.
Sachin Tendulkar – $170 million
For the majority of the remaining players, their income has chiefly been generated from their work within the game. Sachin Tendulkar slots into second place on this list having amassed a fortune reported to be worth $170 million.
Sachin’s income will have been generated from his playing days while he has also coached since retiring. Endorsements of major global brands have boosted his revenue and he has offered his image to the likes of Canon, Airtel, and ESPN Star Sports.
Virat Kohli – $127 million
The most popular cricketer since Sachin Tendulkar hung up his gloves, Virat Kohli has amassed much of his $127 million fortune from playing the game. As captain of India, he would have enjoyed a central contract, plus a significant salary as the long-time skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Like his contemporaries, Kohli has also undertaken a programme of endorsements and has worked with Puma and Audi among others. He has a huge following on social media platforms and that presence helps to keep Virat Kohli’s brand image at a high level.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni – $113 million
Since retiring from international cricket, it’s said that former Indian captain MS Dhoni has been busy making investments into various industries. That has the potential to boost his income significantly in the future, but it remains impressive at its current levels of $113 million.
MSD would have built up those numbers throughout his career as the captain of both India and the successful IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings. He has been an inspirational skipper for CSK, and their multiple trophy wins in the IPL will have boosted Dhoni’s revenue levels.
Sourav Ganguly – $80 million
As another former Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly would have also enjoyed significant earnings throughout his playing career. The IPL came along a little late for him but he still featured and would have commanded significant salaries and signing on fees. He played for two franchise teams in the IPL – Pune Warriors and Kolkata Knight Riders.
After retiring, Ganguly went into the administrative side of the game and he was the President of the BCCI until late 2022. If we add in his brand endorsements which include Burnpur Cement, Classplus and Essilor Lenses, it all adds up to some exceptional numbers.
Ricky Ponting – $70 million
Australia’s Ricky Ponting is another cricketer to have enjoyed multiple roles in the game since retiring. He is most commonly seen as a coach and will be visible in many dugouts in the IPL and in other franchise cricket around the world.
In Australia, England and in other countries, Ponting also works extensively as an insightful commentator. Of course, his earnings from playing, together with brand endorsements from the likes of Adidas and Kookaburra contributes to his $70 million fortune.
Jacques Kallis – $70 million
Many feel that he was the greatest all-rounder to have played the game, so it’s no surprise to see Jacques Kallis clocking up income figures of $70 million. He played at the top level into his late 30s so part of his career was spent playing lucrative franchise cricket.
Kallis is also involved with coaching and undertakes a lot of endorsements back in his native South Africa. He was known there for many years as the brand ambassador for Advanced Hair Studio.
Brian Lara – $60 million
He was the most successful West Indian cricketer of recent years and a man who still holds batting records in both test and all first class cricket. When Brian Lara made 501 for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994, the release of related products was almost instant.
A similar thing happened when he broke the test cricket record by making 400 not out for the West Indies against England in Antigua ten years later. Merchandising obviously helps, but this formed just a part of Lara’s earnings over the years.
While he did play some franchise cricket, the left hander largely missed out on this boom. His earnings at international level would have been relatively modest by today’s standards, so those endorsements and product sales play a significant part.
Of course, like most of his contemporaries, Brian Lara has also been involved in coaching roles following the end of his playing days.
Shane Warne – $50 million
Of course, it’s sad to say that the great Shane Warne is no longer with us, but it’s worth underlining his figures as they offer a good insight into how much cricketers can make.
There are some obvious reasons as to why Warne amassed a fortune of $50 million. After his playing days were over, he worked as a coach and commentator. It’s not so well known that the Aussie leg spinner also played poker professionally and he once won over $20,000 in a single tournament.
Brand endorsements continued to add to his numbers. Like Jacques Kallis, Warnie also worked with Advanced Hair Studio while other endorsements were for Victoria Bitter, Dafabet and Messages on Hold.
Chris Gayle – $45 million
For many years, West Indies’ Chris Gayle was the most in-demand T20 player of them all. The man known as the Universe Boss has played all around the world for many T20 franchises.
Much of those $45 million earnings would have been generated by the IPL, but Gayle has boosted that income from other leagues. As an international cricketer with a long career, he would also have attracted excellen revenue, while advertising and other endorsements offer a significant boost.
Chris Gayle’s long list of brand endorsements includes Spartan Sports, Attitude.com and Agrani Homes.
There are some phenomenal sums of money on here and they underline just how much can be made from the game in the modern day. Huge IPL contracts have revolutionised the earnings that a player can achieve across their career.
It’s also interesting to note that players from India and Australia dominate the list. The rise of the IPL is one factor, but is the Big Bash having the same effect Down Under? Of course, everyone here is a modern cricketer and that underlines the earning potential of anyone who can make a significant mark in the game.
There are exceptions with two West Indians and a South African in the top ten. Overall, the list underlines how much money is in the game these days and, as with any lists of this kind, it will be fascinating to see who can break through in the future.