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Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith: How much cricketers earns through national contracts

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PTI Photo by Atul Yadav

Glamour and glitter surround Indian Cricket and cricketers, especially its captain. It gives us a fair idea of the lives of Indian cricketers when we say they are literally worshipped in the country. And not surprisingly, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the richest board in the world. But, it will surprise you that despite cricket being a religion in India, the cricket team’s captain and swashbuckling batsman Virat Kohli is nowhere near his counterparts when it comes to his earnings.

AFP PHOTO / Dibyangshu SARKAR /

Yes, when it comes to highest-paid cricketer, the crown currently falls on Aussie skipper Steven Smith. Smith earns 20 times more than what his counterpart from Zimbabwe, Graeme Cremer, draws. Smith, earns $1.469 million per year while Indian captain Virat Kohli gets an approximate salary of $1 million. However, with his earnings from the BCCI, brand endorsements, and IPL fees, Virat Kohli is currently the richest cricketer. ESPNCricinfo in an in-depth survey revealed interesting and contrasting numbers. Let us have a look at top earners from respective countries in descending order.


According to the report, “At $23,380 per game, India’s Test cricketers are the most well rewarded across the world, earning almost twice of what an Australian cricketer gets for a home Test (Australia has different fees for home and away Tests).” Meanwhile, Kohli’s counterparts in England, namely Joe Root and Kane Williamson earn $1.47 million (Rs 9 Crore).

How much the coach earns

AFP PHOTO / PUNIT PARANJPE / GETTYOUT

India may have contrasting opinion on Ravi Shastri, but just like a tracer bullet he comfortably whizzes past all other coaches in terms of pay package. The Indian head coach draws a whopping $1.17 million (Rs 7.61 crore) per annum. The cricket boards in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are not in a position to pay their cricketers as much. But interestingly, Bangladesh’s head coach from Sri Lanka, Chandika Hathurasingha is paid more than any of the country’s top cricketers. Meanwhile, Aussie coach Darren Lehmann earns Rs 3.58 crore and Trevor Bayliss (England) Rs 3.4 crore, while former South African coach Russell Domingo had an annual contract worth Rs 58.5 lakh. Interestingly, according to reports, Pakistan are paying their South African coach Mickey Arthur three times more than any of what their topmost cricketers are earning.

Who is the worst paid in cricket?

According to the report, the Pakistani cricketers are among “the worst paid in cricket”. A Pakistani player tops in the contract with an annual retainer ($74,014), the Ireland players ($75,000). A player like Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan’s captain, will end up earning more in a year, of course — and he quadruples his base salary in 2017, because he plays more often and plays across three formats. The absence of bilateral cricket against India has also hurt Pakistan, whereas the refusal of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise owners to take Pakistani cricketers has also resulted in lesser revenue for them.