How Much Do Cricket Players Earn?

Virat Kohli – Image Source:

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, drawing millions of viewers and fans from all corners of the globe. It’s no wonder that cricket players are millionaires many times over.

If you’re wondering how much money cricket players actually make, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll break down the factors that influence cricket players’ earnings, take a closer look at the salaries of top international cricket players, and compare cricket players’ salaries to other sports.

We should start by saying that there’s no way of knowing exactly how much money is in the bank accounts of these people. However, we do know the details of some of the deals and we know that there is a lot of money at the elite level of the sport.

The Factors Influencing Cricket Players’ Earnings

So how much do cricket players earn? And why do they get paid so much?

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, with millions of fans tuning in to watch matches and follow their favourite players. While many people may think that cricket players earn a lot of money, the truth is that their earnings can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. In this article, we will explore some of the key factors that influence cricket players’ earnings.

Experience and Skill Level

Experience and skill level are two of the most important factors that determine the earning potential of a cricket player. As with any profession, the more experience and skill a player has, the more they are likely to earn. This is because experienced players have spent many years honing their skills and building a reputation for themselves, which can make them more valuable to teams and sponsors.

Additionally, players who have exceptional skills, such as batting or bowling, can command higher salaries as well. For example, a player who is known for their ability to hit sixes consistently may be more valuable to a team than a player who is not as skilled in this area.

Many of these tournaments have recruitment that takes place in an auction format, which can drive up the prices and the salaries players get.

Format of the Game

The format of the game is also an important factor in determining cricket players’ earnings. As mentioned earlier, there are three main formats of professional cricket: test cricket, one-day international cricket, and T20 cricket. Test cricket is the longest format and is played over five days. One-day international cricket is played over a single day, while T20 cricket is the shortest format and is played over three hours.

Generally, players who play in shorter formats tend to earn more money than those who play in longer formats. This is because T20 tournaments tend to have a huge draw, and the biggest television audiences, meaning higher revenues. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the short formats earn more (generally speaking).

Domestic vs International Cricket

The level of cricket that a player competes in also plays a role in their earnings. Domestic cricket is played within a single country, while international cricket involves players from all over the world representing their countries.

Generally, players who play international cricket tend to earn higher salaries than those who only play domestic cricket. This is because international cricket is more competitive and requires a higher level of skill and experience. Players who are able to perform well at the international level are highly valued by teams and sponsors. Many test-playing nations have central contracts, which means that players effectively get a salary from their test nation.

However, domestic leagues, particularly T20 leagues such as the Big Bash and the IPL, have a huge global draw, and also generate huge salaries.

Endorsements and Sponsorships

Cricket players can also earn money through endorsements and sponsorships. Many companies are willing to pay top cricket players to promote their products, such as sports equipment, clothing, and accessories. The more popular and successful a cricket player is, the more likely they are to receive endorsement deals.

Endorsements and sponsorships can be a lucrative source of income for cricket players, especially those who are well-known and respected in the industry.

Just take a look at megastar Virat Kohli, a poster boy for Indian cricket. He has been in over 20 different advertisements and campaigns, getting paid huge money by brands for his endorsement.

Franchise Leagues and Tournaments

As we’ve already mentioned briefly many cricket players also participate in various cricket leagues and tournaments around the world. Some of the most popular cricket leagues include the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Big Bash League (BBL), and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Players who participate in these leagues can earn substantial amounts of money, especially if they are highly skilled and popular. The IPL, for example, is known for offering some of the highest salaries in the cricket world, with top players earning millions of dollars each season.

RankPlayerTeamPrice (INR)IPL Year
1Mitchell StarcKolkata Knight Riders24.75 crore2024
2Pat CumminsSunrisers Hyderabad20.50 crore2024
3Sam CurranPunjab Kings18.50 crore2023
4Cameron GreenMumbai Indians17.50 crore2023
5Ben StokesChennai Super Kings16.25 crore2023
6Chris MorrisRajasthan Royals16.25 crore2022
7Nicholas PooranLucknow Super Giants16 crore2021
8Yuvraj SinghDelhi Daredevils16 crore2015
9Rohit SharmaMumbai Indians16 crore2023
10Ravindra JadejaChennai Super Kings16 crore2023
One Crore = roughly 133,514 US dollars

As you can see, cricket can be a lucrative profession for those who are successful, it is important for players to work hard, stay focused, and continue to develop their skills in order to achieve their full earning potential. It takes a lot to reach the top echelons and not many make it.

The Earnings of Top International Cricket Players

We don’t have all of the financial details of superstar cricketers, of course. Nobody knows exactly how much these players are earning, but it is fair to say that at the elite level, the salaries can be huge.

Virat Kohli, between earning a lot of money through IPL deals, playing for India, and no end of endorsements, has become the wealthiest cricketer in the world. His net worth is thought to be as high as 140 million USD.

Many England cricketers are also very well paid. Their central contracts can be worth over £800,000 per annum, but it varies depending on player and contract type.

On top of that pay, players could expect to receive £25,000 per Test and £9,000 for a white-ball appearance. Not bad for doing what they love.

Comparing Cricket Players’ Salaries to Other Sports

While cricket may be one of the highest-paying sports in the world, it still pales in comparison to some other sports. Football, for example, is by far the highest-paying sport in the world, with players such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo earning hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Basketball, tennis, and golf are also high-paying sports, with players such as Lionel Messi, Stephen Curry, and golfers like Dustin Johnson earning tens of millions of dollars per year. In fact, according to Forbes and their rich lists, many of these earn in a year what some top cricketers can earn in a lifetime.

Despite not being the highest-paying sport in the world, cricket still offers players the opportunity to earn a substantial income. With the rise of various cricket leagues around the world, the earning potential for cricket players is only going to keep increasing.

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