Cricket is one most revered sport in India. Successful cricketers who have represented the country have been one of the most affluent sports stars. There are many rags to riches stories famous in the cricketing circuit.
One of the major ways how players earn money is through bat sponsorships. Many companies are ready to pay cricketers just to put a label of their name on the bat.
Here are the top five bat sponsorships in Indian cricket:
Shikhar Dhawan- 3 crores annually
Shikhar Dhawan has been a consistent performer for especially in ICC events. The Delhi-lad is famous for his thigh thumping celebration and is also one of the most reliable openers that India has witnessed. Dhawan was the mainstay opener along with Rohit Sharma before being excluded from the recent T20 team post a horrendous performance against England. However, the left-handed opener continues his domineering run in the ODIs.
A leading tyre company, MRF, sponsored Dhawan. The industrial giants paid a whopping three crores annually to endorse a sticker of their corporation’s name on the bat.
Rohit Sharma- 3 crores annually
Rohit Sharma has established himself as a leading white-ball player. Recently on his birthday, even the International Cricket Council (ICC) wished the veteran batsman and dubbed him as the ‘Master of Pull Shot.’
Rohit is the only batsman in the world to record three double tons in ODIs. He is also popularly known as ‘Hitman’ among his fans.
CEAT started sponsoring the right-hander with their label on his bat in 2016. The tyre company even extended their deal with the 34-year-old for three more years in 2018 and vowed to pay three crores annually in return.
Yuvraj Singh- 4 crores annually
Yuvraj Singh is another cricketer who was a cardinal reason behind India’s success in both their World Cup wins in 2007 and 2011, respectively. The left-hander showed his strength when he battled cancer and recuperated, and made a comeback in the national team.
Hence, it is no surprise that PUMA struck a deal with the 2011 World Cup ‘Player of the Tournament’ for four crores annually to get their logo on his bat.
MS Dhoni- 4.33 crores annually
MS Dhoni is the only captain ever to win three ICC trophies- World Cup T20 2007, ODI World Cup 2011, and Champions Trophy in 2013.
Mahi is also known for his helicopter shot, where he smashes a digging yorker for a maximum.
Recognized as the best finisher in the sport, Dhoni had everyone stunned when he converted probable losses to wins for his side.
Spartan cracked a deal with the right-hander in 2016 for three years, with which Dhoni made 4.33 crores annually.
Virat Kohli- 12.5 crores annually
Virat Kohli is counted among the best batsmen in the cricketing world. He has already broken several records , one being the fastest to reach 10,000 ODI runs. Cricket fans augur that Kohli will, one day, break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of the most runs in ODI cricket.
Kohli, apart from being a world-class batsman, is also the captain of the Indian team. Hence, it comes as no surprise when MRF stuck a massive 100-crore deal (12.5 crores/annum) with the veteran in 2017 for eight years to have their sticker on his bat.