Back in the day, cricketers were paid measly sums as remuneration by their respective cricket boards. Indian cricketers in particular were paid far less than their counterparts from other nations, as the BCCI did not show much interest in their own cricketers.
Things started to change in the late eighties and early nineties, as the advent of television and other MNCs into India forever changed the face of our beautiful game.
All of a sudden, cricketers became extremely valuable individuals as their value became on par with Bollywood superstars.
Now in 2017, cricketers are not only on par, but in some cases even more valuable than their Bollywood counterparts. Virat Kohli for example has become the most valuable celebrity in India today, overtaking the legendary Shahrukh Khan in process.
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Cricketers have now gained superstar status in the country, as companies flock towards for endorsing their products. One of the easiest ways for cricketers to endorse products is by showing it’s label on their cricket bats.
MRF became synonymous with the very batsmen in the world, as the tire company was endorsed by Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Steve Waugh during their playing days.
Right now, the Indian skipper Virat Kohli is the new face of the MRF brand, as he shows their sticker on his willow whenever he goes out to bat.
Kohli did not come cheap, as MRF had to secure a deal of around Rs 100 crores, making Kohli one of the most valuable sportspersons in the world today.
India’s former skipper, MS Dhoni endorses the SPARTAN brand, in a deal of around Rs 6 crores. West Indian legend, Chris Gayle also endorses the same brand in a deal that is close to Rs 3 crores.
Rohit Sharma gets paid around Rs 3 crores for endorsing the CEAT brand, in a deal that could very well increase in a few months from now.