Virat Kohli, the only Indian in the 2017 Forbes' list of highest-paid athletes

PTI, Jun, 08 2017

New York, United States: Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli is the sole sportsperson from the country to feature among the world's 100 highest-paid athletes in the latest Forbes list topped by football star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kohli, 28, has been ranked 89th on the 2017 Forbes list of 'The World's highest paid athletes' with a total pay of $22 million that includes $3 million from salary and winnings and another $19 million from endorsements.

File photo of Virat Kohli. Reuters

File photo of Virat Kohli. Reuters

Describing Kohli as the "Indian cricket phenom", Forbes said the batsman has "for good reason" already drawn comparisons to all-time great Sachin Tendulkar.

It added that Kohli, the only cricketer in the list, has continuously shattered batting records and in 2015 was named the captain of the Indian national team, making him one of the youngest players to ever hold the job.

It noted that last year Kohli made nearly $1 million in salary and match fees from his national team play, and he's also among the Indian Premier League's highest-paid players thanks to a $2.3 million salary from the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

"The vast majority of his income, however, comes from one of the sports world's most impressive sponsorship portfolios," Forbes said.

The list has been topped by Ronaldo with a total pay of $93 million. American basketball star LeBron James comes in at the second spot with $86.2 million, followed by Argentine footballer Lionel Messi with $80 million , tennis star Roger Federer (4) with $64 million and American basketball player Kevin Durant (5).

However, in a troubling indication of gender inequality, the list of 100 has only one woman sports star. Forbes noted that the top 100 athletes are a boys' club more than ever, with tennis star Serena Williams, who comes in at the 51st spot with $27 million, the lone female athlete to make the cut this year.

Golf legend Tiger Woods, who was arrested recently after police found him asleep at the steering wheel of his car as a result of his medication, comes in at the 17th spot.

Forbes said while Woods continues to "sink further away" from the player that dominated the golf landscape, "sponsors still see value in partnering with" him.

The list also includes tennis greats Novak Djokovic (16) and Rafael Nadal (33), basketball player Anthony Davis (44) and football star Wayne Rooney (70).

Forbes said the 100 highest-paid sports stars earned a cumulative $3.11 billion over the past 12 months, down a per cent from last year. But the threshold to make the list rose by $600,000 to $21.4 million.

The earnings figures include salaries, prize money and bonuses earned between June 2016 and June 2017.

Athletes from 21 countries are represented among the top 100, but Americans dominate the list with 63 entries owing to the soaring salaries in professional Americans leagues like the National Basketball Association, National Football League and Major League Baseball.

Published Date: Jun 08, 2017 | Updated Date: Jun 08, 2017



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4717 115
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115