The Indian Premier League across 12 seasons and the auction for the 13th season has created three stars in the ₹ 100 crore career salary club. The King of Chennai Super Kings Mahendra Singh Dhoni spearheads the table, with Hitman Rohit Sharma in the second position and the undisputed No. 1 icon of the sports Virat Kohli coming next.
The IPL 2020 auction was another success that saw Pat Cummins becoming an overnight crorepati. The mini-auction, as the franchisees had retained players from the last season and traded for more during the pre-auction window, resulted in bids for and acquisition of only 62 more players at an aggregate spent of over ₹140 crores.
Ever since its inception in 2008, the IPL has every season created new millions and raised the bar for the highest earning professionals in cricket. No league or reward in the sport matches the riches of the richest cricket tournament in the world, organised under the richest cricket body – the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Still no other player has been able to join Dhoni, Sharma and Kohli in IPL’s ₹ 100 crore career earnings club. Next in the line, Suresh Raina is a mere ₹ 26 lakh shy of the mark. Gautam Gambhir fell short by ₹ 38 lakh while exiting from all forms of cricket.
InsideSport.co brings to its readers top ten IPL Salary Earners from the IPL Moneyball digital salary calculator for professional sportspersons.
Number 10 – Robin Uthappa
Robin Uthappa, released by Kolkata Knight Riders, was the only player on the IPL Moneyball earners top 10 list to go under the hammer at the IPL 2020 auction on December 19 in Kolkata. After his early stints with Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Pune Warriors India, the seasoned pro had become an important part of Kolkata Knight Riders for the last six seasons of IPL. He was an important part of the winning KKR team in 2014. He has been one of the able wicket-keepers in the league with third most dismissals over the past 12 seasons. The third-most earner among keeper-batsman, Uthappa with ₹75,27,67,000 career earnings from the IPL salaries is the 10th highest aggregator from cricket’s richest professional league.
Number 9 – Shane Watson
Former Australian all-rounder, Shane Watson has played with Rajasthan Royals for more than half of his IPL career and is one of the surprising names who got retained for yet another season of the league. Having won two IPL titles with Rajasthan and Chennai, Watson has been a definite feature in the IPL. Most Valuable Player in the inaugural season with Rajasthan Royals and Player of the Match in the finals of 2018 with CSK, Watson is placed well at number 9 in our Moneyball Salary Calculator with ₹ 77,13,48,250 career earnings.
Number 8 – Sunil Narine
The swashbuckling all-rounder from Trinidad who has played for a single franchisee since his IPL debut in 2012 has even won the Kolkata Knight Riders two titles in 2012 and 2014. The most valuable player in his debut season, Narine has been a consistent player in the IPL. His graph in terms of year on year salary has never decreased and currently the second-highest-paid player of the KKR, Narine features at N0. 8 in the Moneyball Salary Calculator despite the fact that he has not been around for the first four seasons. Narine till date has drawn ₹ 82,74,78,000 in salaries for his eight seasons with KKR.
Number 7 – Yuvraj Singh
Even after announcing retirement from all forms of cricket and getting released by Mumbai Indians, the 2007 and 2011 player of the two ICC World Cups tournaments, Yuvraj Singh features at No. 7 in the Moneyball Salary Calculator top ten earners list. Having played for six different franchises over the years, Yuvraj’s salary started decreasing after 2015. The southpaw acquired by the Delhi Daredevils for then an IPL record salary of ₹ 16 crores over the years had seen his form and price tag dwindling by the year. The man who used to get aggressive bids in the IPL Auction for the past two years and had failed to find a bidder, only to be acquired by Kings XI Punjab (2018) and Mumbai Indians (2019) for his base price of ₹ 2 crores and ₹ 1 crore respectively and released after the season. He though had won the title with Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016. The fiercest batsman in the shortest format of the game is placed seventh on the IPL Moneyball highest earners list for his career aggregate of ₹ 84,60,50,000 as his IPL journey comes to an end.
Number 6 – AB de Villiers
The topmost overseas earner over the course of the Indian Premier League, AB de Villiers has been an important player for Royal Challengers Bangalore since his move from Delhi Daredevils back in 2011. Often referred to as Mr. 360, de Villiers has been a very consistent player for RCB over the years but has been very unfortunate to not to have not won an IPL title. Still ruling the hearts of Indian cricket fans and getting retained for yet another year by the RCB, ABD is at No. 6 in our Moneyball Salary Calculator. The dashing Proteas has till date earned ₹ 91,51,65,000 in IPL salary contracts.
Number 5 – Gautam Gambhir
Despite playing the last IPL back in 2018, the cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir has aggregated enough to feature in top 5 of the IPL 2020 Moneyball Salary Calculator. Gambhir, who spent 7 years with KKR has been an imperative player to lead their team to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014. Highest salary with KKR made him earn more than ₹ 90 crores – ₹ 94,62,00,000 to be precise – over his 11 years of IPL career.
Number 4 – Suresh Raina
The second-highest scorer in the history of Indian Premier League and always featuring for Chennai Super Kings except for two years when they were banned has gone past Gambhir in the Moneyball Salary Calculator. Raina, despite having been dropped out of the Indian team is still a regular feature for CSK and has won three titles with them. 2021 can be the season for him to get past the ₹ 100 crore salary mark and become the fourth player to be in the ₹ 100 crores IPL salary club. For now, Raina has ₹ 99,74,00,000 in his account from the IPL salaries alone.
Number 3 – Virat Kohli
The current Indian skipper is the only player turning up for just one franchisee since the league was started in 2008. He has seen the maximum salary growth over the span of 12 years. Kohli who earned 12 lakh way back in 2008 as the handpicked uncapped player in 2008, today gets IPL’s all-time highest annual salary of ₹17 crores. He has the most runs in the history of the IPL and also has the record for most runs in a single season. Only one of three Indians to win the Orange Cap, Virat Kohli features at No. 3 position in our Moneyball Salary Calculator with career earnings of ₹ 1,26,20,00,000.
There is still a long gap between him and the next two up the order, but the Indian sports’ and cricket worlds’ richest brand icon has really made long strides on IPL Moneyball Salary charts.
Number 2 – Rohit Sharma
Five-time IPL champion and India’s deputy skipper in white-ball cricket, Rohit Sharma has been a big earner since his move to Mumbai Indians in 2011. He has successfully led the Mumbai Indians to four IPL titles. Sharma is the third-highest run-getter in the history of IPL and a consist earner over the years. He features at No. 2 in the Moneyball Salary Calculator. Rohit’s IPL salary contracts till date aggregate to ₹ 1,31,60,00,000 as he is all set to lead Mumbai Indians title defence.
Number 1 – Mahendra Singh Dhoni
The captain with highest match-winning percentage in the history of IPL has been associated with Chennai Super Kings since the very first year apart from the two seasons when MS played for Rising Pune Supergiants in the absence of CSK. He has to his credit 104 wins as captain in 174 IPL matches and also leads the charge as the wicketkeeper with most dismissals in the league since 2008. Costliest player back in 2008, Dhoni earned hefty sums in each year of the league and rightly tops our Moneyball Salary Calculator chart. His career IPL salary contracts worth ₹ 1,37,84,00,000 have till date not matched by any player and might as well remain unmatchable as long as he is on the scene.