The Indian Premier League aptly justify “cash rich” and “biggest commercial property” tags for the cricket world. The Board of Control for Cricket in India-owned professional league draws unparalleled commercial traction for the world of cricket.
Rich not only in cash but also glamour, viewership and appeal among all generations.
However, in spite of multi-million dollar and thousands of crore rupee deals, IPL’s riches comes nowhere close to the richest properties of tennis.
At a time when IPL’s market and marketing deals are in news, a French Open announcement to increase its prize money by an 8% invokes interesting comparison. How rich are the IPL’s richest cricketers in comparison to the most successful tennis professionals – men and women alike.
To begin with, let it be IPL versus any of the four Grand Slams in tennis.
The French Open organisers have for this year increased the total prize purse by ₹ 22.8 crores ( $3.5m) to a tournament record ₹312.3 crores ($48m). The amount is still shy of ₹ 15.6 crores ($2.4m) total prize purse at US Open (₹327.9 crores, $50.4m).
The Vivo Indian Premier League 2018 has a total prize purse of ₹52 crores. The winning team will get ₹26 crores along with ₹13 crores for the runners-up. The prize money is just 16% of the French Open prize money.
With regard to the players, IPL’s highest ever paid cricketer Virat Kohli is behind any of the Grand Slam singles champion (men and women alike) in prize money. French Open in May-June will offer ₹17.6 crore to its singles champions. Kohli’s RCB retention deal is ₹60 lakh shorter than this French Open singles champions’ prize purse. Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open offer even more.
The organisers of the Australian and French Open Grand Slams have already offered prize money hike for 2018. There remains a strong likelihood for a hike in prize money for the remaining two Grand Slams as they come closer to the second event of the year. This certainly makes tennis, like many other sports, a more lucrative professional for the top rung players.