Highest paid cricketers 2018

Cricket isn’t a game awash with cash like football but there’s plenty of money available to the world’s top stars. International cricketers do very well if they play for one of the Test playing nations but it’s the domestic game that knocks their wages over the boundary. With the advent of the Indian Premier League, Australia’s Big Bash and the upcoming 100 ball tournament that will begin in 2020 in England, the shortest form of the game is the one delivering the most cash for cricketers.

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Indian Premier League stars

International players now where to go if they want to earn big money and those hailing from a low income nation like South Africa have the most to gain from the IPL. AB de Villiers is an example of that as he earns £1.5 million from his efforts with Royal Challengers Bangalore. Steve Smith was set to earn £1.66 million from the IPL in 2018 but his contract was terminated following the ball tampering scandal.MS Dhoni is another high earner. This guy’s the league’s third highest earner with £2.1 million for his services in 2018. Rohit Sharma is another player earning £2.1 million from the IPL. The only player earning more than Sharma and Dhoni is Virat Kohli who’s costing RCB £2.36 million this year. That wage plus the £750,000 he earns by representing his country make him the highest earning cricketer of 2018.

Big Bash big earners

This league creates a lot of the dramas you find in the IPL but it doesn’t cost as much to put on. The players don’t earn anything like the sort of money IPL stars do. Brisbane Heat’s Chris Lynn just re-signed for five years and will earn £111,000 a year. The teams operate under a strict salary cap that’s less than £900,000 but there are ways around it. When Kevin Pietersen signed up his wages were topped up by an additional "marketing contract" that didn’t count towards the salary cap and only made him market the Big Bash League. We’ll leave you to consider whether the salary cap is doing what it’s designed to do or not.

England’s top earners

For most English cricketers, the international game still contributes the majority of their money. Those selected at auction for the IPL can earn hundreds of thousands of pounds more for their year’s cricket but only 12 Englishmen were selected for the latest tournament. The likes of Eoin Morgan and Joe Root missed out. What does the ECB pay their players? The ECB is one of the world’s richest cricket boards so no wonder the centrally contracted players earn around £1 million a year for their labours.

Are big wages good or bad for business?

Cricketers that earn well are less likely to be tempted to cheat the game in pursuit of big match win bonuses or kickbacks from bookies so the more legitimate money they make, the easier the game will be to police. The career of a cricketer is comparable with most sportsmen because they’re normally passed their best when they hit their mid-30s so although they spend a lot of time standing around, their careers aren’t lengthened by the lack of running around they do.

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