India may have plummeted in international rankings, but this hasn’t really hurt their pay packets. According to Forbes, the top five of the world’s highest paid cricketers are all Indians.
1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni - According to Forbes, the Indian skipper has made over $26.5 million over the past one year, with just $3.5 million of that coming courtesy of his on-field play and the rest from endorsements. He reportedly endorses as many as 25 brands including the likes of Pepsi, Reebok and Sony.
2. Sachin Tendulkar - The name that has topped such lists on many occassions in the past is now at number 2. Tendulkar’s popularity still helped him rake in an estimated $16.5 million last year, a majority of which came from his 16 sponsors. The list includes Adidas, Coca Cola, Castrol and Toshiba.
3. Gautam Gambhir - Next up on the list is Gautam Gambhir who has a total earnings of $7.3 million last year. The break up is more equal in his case with $3.9 million coming in from his cricket and the rest through endorsements like Reebok, Red Bull and Hero Honda.
4. Virat Kohli - Indian cricket’s new pin-up star Virat Kohli makes his way to number four backed by his performances in the one-day format. Kohli’s income last year is estimated by Forbes to be at $7.1 million with $4 million of it coming through his commercial deals such as Nike, Pepsi and Toyota. Kohli’s endorsements are on the rise with his increasing popularity but we at Yahoo! Cricket definitely think he can do better than Celkon.
5. Virender Sehwag - Viru rounds off the top five with an income of $6.9 million out of which $4.1 million comes from sponsors like Fila, Hero Honda and Royal Challenge.
6. Shane Watson - Watto as he is known, is first in the list of four Australians that make the top 10. The all-rounder earns a very decent $2.9 million from his cricket $3 million comes in from sponsors like Gunn & Moore, Asics and TAG Heuer.
7. Michael Clarke – The Australian skipper is next in line. Clarke has carefully cultivated an image as a stylish and yet responsible role model and leader of men. This has helped him garner an estimated $2.2 million from sponsors like Spartan Sports, Gillette and Bonds while his income from cricket stands at $2.7 million.
8. Brett Lee – The Aussie speedster retired from international cricket very recently and prior to that limited his national appearences to limited overs cricket, but that hasn’t stopped him from making it to the highest-paid cricketers list. Lee’s pace brought him $1.8 million last year while $3 million came in from endorsements indicating his popularity with advertisers in both Australia and India.
9. Ricky Ponting – The final Aussie to make it to the top 10 is former captain Ricky Ponting. Punter’s total earnings for last year are estimated to be at $4.1 million with $1.8 million coming from his cricket and the rest through endorsements like Kookaburra, Valvoline and Rexona.
10. Yusuf Pathan – A surprise name at number 10 is that of the elder Pathan. Yusuf hasn’t managed to secure his position in even India’s limited overs side, but makes it to the list on the backing of his IPL paycheque of $2.1 million that boosted his total earnings to $3.7 million.