It’s not easy to lead an international cricket side. The pressure from both on and off the field is immense. A majority of the captains in international cricket are centrally contracted to their respective cricket boards and get salaries according to those contracts.
Different boards have different life cycles and time of the year for their contracts. Generally, the trend is the respective cricket boards hand out contracts for a period of one year and that becomes their salary for that year. There are certain boards that treat its captains special and have different contracts for them with a different sum.
Hence, here let’s look at most international captains and the salaries they earn from their respective cricket boards.
(Note – All values are approximate earnings)
7. SRI LANKA: Dimuth Karunaratne – INR 71.32 lakh, Lasith Malinga – INR 50 lakh
Till March 2019, Sri Lanka were constantly chopping and changing captains. However, the Test series win in South Africa led to the appointment of Dimuth Karunaratne as captain in the ODI format as well. However, things quite haven’t worked out that well in the 50-over format. They’ve blown hot and cold even in Test cricket and T20Is.
But it is Lasith Malinga who is leading the side in T20I cricket. He has proved that he can do the job and he still is the leader of the attack and Sri Lanka’s premier fast bowler. In fact, he is arguably their best bowler.
Both Malinga and Karunaratne have been centrally contracted with the Sri Lankan cricket board. The latter isn’t the highest earning but he does earn more than Malinga as he leads in two formats. Karunaratne earns $100,000 yearly while Malinga receives an annual salary of $70,000.
6. AUSTRALIA: Tim Paine, Aaron Finch – INR 4.87 crore
The Australians had the infamous pay dispute back in mid-2017. Since then, the pay has increased quite a lot and the contracted players have reaped benefits. The captains Tim Paine and Aaron Finch have been very good at the helm in their respective formats and are earning approximately $1 million.
Paine took over the Test captaincy during one of the most difficult phases in Australian cricket. It was after the ball-tampering saga in 2018 that Paine ascended to the top as captain. There were some difficult moments at the start but Paine has come through really well and has taken the team forward as well. Australia have once again become the team to beat in world cricket in the longest format.
Meanwhile, Finch has done a good job too. There were hardly any expectations from Australia at the World Cup but he led them to the semi-finals. There have also been some excellent ODI and T20I series victories in 2019.
5. SOUTH AFRICA: Faf du Plessis – INR 3.2 crore, Quinton de Kock – INR 2.5 crore
South African cricket is going through a rough phase. There were dealing with quite a few off-field issues and they seemed to be in turmoil. They did come out of that ahead of the 2019-20 home season but their on-field performances haven’t improved.
Faf du Plessis has been sacked as the white-ball captain but will continue to lead the Test side. Quinton de Kock has been appointed as the captain in the shorter formats. Under du Plessis, South Africa have gone through a rough phase for the last year or so. The Proteas haven’t won their last three Test series, including two at home.
Hence, there have been big discussions about his retirement as well. de Kock has led South Africa in a few white-ball games. In the current contract, du Plessis earns $450,000 per year while de Kock gets $350,000.
4. NEW ZEALAND: Kane Williamson – INR 3.17 crore
In this list, Kane Williamson is one of the only two captains who leads his team in all three formats. He has been the talisman for New Zealand. Be it red-ball cricket or white-ball, Williamson is a consistent performer at No. 3. He is not someone who comes a lot in the limelight but Williamson has been leading the Kiwis really well.
Barring T20Is where he has a win percentage of 47.5%, Williamson has a win percentage in excess of 50% in the other two formats. Moreover, captaincy has helped him take his batting to another level. He earns $440,000 a year from his New Zealand cricket contract.
3. PAKISTAN: Babar Azam – INR 66 lakh, Sarfaraz Ahmed – INR 66 lakh, Azhar Ali – INR 44.28 lakh
At the moment, Pakistan is the only team with three different captains in three different formats. It wasn’t long ago that Sarfaraz Ahmed was leading the side in all three formats. However, some inconsistent results and an up and down World Cup led to his axing. He was axed from the Test and T20I formats and was stripped off captaincy too. However, there hasn’t been a decision taken on ODI cricket and for now, he is the skipper.
Meanwhile, Babar Azam who has been in excellent form in all three formats has become the captain in the shortest format. Azhar Ali has taken over as Test captain. Both of them haven’t really started their captaincy tenures on a great note. But each one of them are contracted centrally and are earning quite a bit.
In the current contract, Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed are the highest-earning Pakistan cricketers. They get 1.44 crore PRN annually while the Test captain, Azhar Ali earns 96 lakh PRN.
2. INDIA: Virat Kohli – INR 7 crore
There’s absolutely no doubt that Virat Kohli is one of the best batsmen across formats. He consistently churns out runs across formats and is the leading batsman in every format for the Indian team. In fact, he is the only player in the history of the game to average in excess of 50 in all three formats.
He is one of the leading cricketers in world cricket and is a great ambassador for the game as well. Kohli has been leading India in all three formats for three years now. He’s leading the Test side since 2015 but took over captaincy in white-ball cricket in January 2017. The Indian skipper is the Grade A+ category of the BCCI contracts and earns INR 7 crore per year.
The Delhi-born cricketer is one of the top-most earning captains in international cricket. With BCCI being one of the richest cricketing boards in world cricket, it is no surprise that Kohli is the highest-earning captain amongst his counterparts.
1. ENGLAND: Joe Root – INR 8.15 crore, Eoin Morgan – INR 2.56 crore
For quite some time now, England have had split captaincy. While there is Eoin Morgan leading the white-ball sides, Joe Root is in charge of the Test team.
Morgan has been brilliant as captain and also as a batsman in the last few years. He’s led England really well and has been good tactically. The Irish-born player took England to the summit of world cricket when he led them to a World Cup win as captain. Moreover, his batting is pretty underrated and he is an excellent batsman in the middle order.
Meanwhile, under Root, England have blown hot and cold in the longest format. They’ve won consistently but they’ve also lost quite a bit too. Root’s form as captain has also been slightly inconsistent. However, he is one of the few players who has both the red-ball and white-ball contracts. The Test players are contracted to earn £600,000 per year while white-ball ones will earn £275,000 per year. Hence, Root is entitled to earn on both sides while Morgan only the latter.
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