A sport as old as human history, perhaps, but has a recorded history since the late 16th century. Cricket originated in South East England, and by the 18th century, it was an established sport in the country. The 19th and 20th centuries saw the sport develop globally, with international matches being played. Cricket is the world’s second most popular spectator sport after football.
The 20th-century growth of international cricket began when the Imperial Cricket Conference was founded in 1909 with England, Australia, and South Africa as its founding members. In 1989, the ICC renamed itself the International Cricket Council. Over the years, many more countries joined, with Afghanistan and Ireland becoming the latest members in 2018, bringing the total number of full members to 12.
Over the years, the game has changed and evolved from the Test Matches of the earliest days to One Day Matches, Twenty20 Matches, etc. Cricket has assumed various formats which have continued to be a major competitive sport in most of the former British Empire countries, especially the Indian Subcontinent.
The formation of the Twenty20 leagues in India—the unofficial Indian Cricket League and the official Indian Premiere League—has raised much speculation about the sport’s future. The game, however, continues to enjoy enormous popularity with in-person matches and television audiences.
As the game gained popularity over the years, it attracted more and more investments from the government and then from the private corporate sector. This also ensured that the players got better remuneration as time progressed. Today, cricket players earn big money from not only the structure of international cricket but even privately run cricket leagues.
Earning Avenues for Cricket Players
Indian cricket players earn a fixed annual salary from the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) depending on seniority, play competency, and other parameters as decided by the board’s grading system. This salary goes a long way in ensuring that the players make this game their primary concern. Apart from this, they also get paid per match, depending on the type of match. There are various other avenues of income for cricket players.
Avenues During an Active Cricket Career
As popular as the sport is in the Indian subcontinent, the high-ranked Indian players are in demand in the advertising world. They are offered advertising campaigns by some of the top-rated brands and earn big money for them. These brand endorsements could be television ads, magazine ads, billboard campaigns, etc.
Some famous names in the cricket world are associated with some of the biggest names in the business world as brand ambassadors. Virat Kohli endorses Sun Pharma’s Volini Gel, Hero MotoCorp, Google Duo, Vivo, Myntra, Bluestar, and many more. Jaspreet Bumrah is the brand ambassador for boAt, Unix, Dream 11, Seagram’s Royal Stag, OnePlus Wearables, and others. Rohit Sharma endorses Adidas, La Liga, Financepeer, Dr. Trust and more.
In cricket, sponsorship is a marketing tool. Players get paid huge amounts of money to be seen using a particular brand, in effect, endorsing it. Cricket Players especially get highly paid for bat sponsorships, T-shirt sponsorships, athletic shoe sponsorships, helmets, knee & elbow pad sponsorships, etc. Every brand that these players are seen using receives a sales boost due to those sponsorships. And the players, in return, receive huge payouts for it.
Playing for Private Enterprises
Private Cricket Leagues like IPL and other own brands pay large amounts of money to cricket players to play for them. IPL, for example, holds auctions for cricket players to be bought out by various teams registered with them. The better the player, the larger the payout.
Avenues Post Retirement
Once a cricket player retires from active playing, there is a multitude of things that he/she can do to open doors for a regular income. One of those things is relying on years of training and playing and using that skill to train upcoming talent. They may join a cricket academy to coach an entire team or take on personal coaching assignments. In any case, these engagements are high-paying and assure a regular source of income. Well-known retired cricket players like Robin Singh, Manoj Prabhakar, Venkatapathy Raju, and S. Sriram have taken assignments to coach international teams. Other prominent Indian national Cricket team coaches include Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Rahul Dravid, and more.
A financially lucrative and attractive assignment to take is that of a cricket commentator. Ex-players get signed on by popular sports channels as commentators during matches. Some famous names in the commentary are Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath and Mohammad Azharuddin.
Entrepreneurs and Investors
Many ex-cricket players own successful business ventures that have become their primary source of income post-retirement. The salaries and payouts that players receive are usually invested in various ventures or to start a new business themselves. Known as a serial entrepreneur, Kapil Dev is the most famous name in Indian Cricket. Post-retirement this dynamic man owns several businesses across the country including a restaurant called ‘Captain's Eleven” in Chandigarh and Patna and a hotel in Chandigarh named ‘Kaptain’s Retreat Hotel’.
Other famous names include Sachin Tendulkar, who has a diversified investment portfolio as well as owns eateries; Virat Kohli, who, among other investments, jointly owns the gymnasium chain ‘Chisel’, MS Dhoni, who co-owns Mahi Racing Squad India, a Super Sports World Championship team; and Yuvraj Singh, who supports the sports-themed online business Sports365.in, which sells sporting and fitness equipment.
The bottom line is that retiring from playing active sports is, in fact, an opportunity to grow in other aspects that these well-known cricket players have explored to their fullest extent. There are many career options that players can explore which may or may not be related to their chosen careers. The idea is to grow – personally, professionally, and financially.
Who gives salaries to cricketers?
Indian cricket players earn a fixed annual salary from the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI). Apart from this, they also get paid per match, depending on the type of match.
How do cricketers make money?
The Indian Cricket players make money in the following ways:
- Playing for Private Enterprises (IPL)
How do cricketers earn money after retirement?
The earning avenues for cricketers after retirement include:
- Cricket Coaching
- Entrepreneurship and Investing