Top cricketers could be set for a major financial windfall as they flaunt their skills in the ongoing World T20. With the Indian Premier League scheduled to begin just six days after the World T20 final, a number of cricketers might get last-minute deals that will increase their annual income.
Top draw are definitely MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. Ranked 23rd on the Forbes list of the world’s highest paid athletes, Dhoni was estimated to have a total income of $31 million (around R 206 crore) last year.
Endorsements alone contributed to around $27 million (around R180 crore). It looks that this year he might earn the same, if not more. His flat batted six against Pakistan last Saturday has sparked talk of how he is back in form. And if he is able to guide India to their second World T20 title, Dhoni can rake in more in the form of endorsements.
Despite changing over to Pune, Dhoni, according to insiders, will be given the same remuneration he enjoyed at Chennai Super Kings.
Kohli is still behind Dhoni in terms of overall income but he is on a huge surge. Kohli had reportedly signed a R10 crore per year deal with Adidas in 2013 that is set to end this September.
Surely, a renewal of contract will cost Adidas more. He has a R6.5 crore deal with MRF and a R5 crore 18-month deal with Audi. Kohli also endorses brands like Pepsi, Nestle, Oakley, TVS, Herbalife, Vicks, Mattel and United Spirits.
Another hot pick is Rohit Sharma. Last year, Ceat had signed him for a three-year bat deal reportedly worth around R2 crore per year.
Suresh Raina gets a similar deal from Ceat. Apart from Ceat, Rohit is associated with brands like Adidas, Seagram’s, Restless and Rajhans group. Come April though, Sharma’s biggest advantage would be the fact that he captains two-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians.
Also set to be richer is AB de Villers who had a combined income of $15 million (around R 100 crore) last year, including around $2 million in endorsements.
Chris Gayle is reportedly paid around $3 million in endorsements alone but that might inflate after the century he had scored against England last week.