Kohli named in Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes

Kohli is the only cricketer to feature in the top 100. © Cricbuzz

Indian captain Virat Kohli finds a place in Forbes’ list of 100 highest-paid athletes for 2017-18 which is topped by US boxer Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.

Kohli is ranked 83rd in the world with total earnings of USD 24 million and is the only cricketer in that list. Kohli’s earnings are boosted by his various endorsement deals with the likes of Puma, Pepsi, Audi and Oakley. He also has his own youth fashion brand named WROGN launched in 2014.

Kohli also is one of five Indians who are in the A+ category contract with the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI). The contract guarantees Kohli an annual retainer of USD 1 million. He is also a part of the IPL where he is contracted with Royal Challengers Bangalore for USD 2.65 million.

Kohli, 29, is not just cricket-crazy India’s biggest name but is also one of the most popular athletes in the world, “boasting more Twitter followers (25 million-plus) than all but three active sports stars”, Forbes said.

“Yet like the Indian cricket mega-stars who have come before him, Kohli’s big payday comes off the pitch where he’s partnered with top brands such as Puma, Pepsi, Audi and Oakley,” Forbes said.

Kohli jumped six places from his previous year’s position as no women feature in the 100-athlete list. Previous Indians in the list include MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar. Dhoni was ranked 13th in 2013 while Sachin came in at 51st the same year. Apart from the aforementioned trio, no Indians have featured in the richest list.

Mayweather who earned USD 275 million for his August fight with Conor McGregor is the highest paid athlete in the world for the fourth time in the last seven years. Football stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo occupy the next two spots.

Forbes’ earnings figures include all prize money, salaries and bonuses earned between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018.