In what was probably the best year of his career, India captain Virat Kohli, it appears, enjoyed similar fortunes off the field as well. The 28-year-old batsman is third on Forbes 2016 India’s Highest Paid Celebrity List, only behind Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, and ranked in a mind-boggling Rs.134.44 crore.
It seems like Kohli has been scoring both on and off the field with equal dexterity. Placed No.1 in the ‘fame rank’, Kohli out-earned every other sportsperson in the country after bagging bumper sponsorship deals throughout the year. He earned almost Rs.12 crore more than MS Dhoni, whom he replaced as the limited-overs captain for the upcoming ODI series against England.
Dhoni retired from Test cricket at the end of 2014, ceding his Indian national team captainship to fellow star Virat Kohli, but he remains India’s captain at the ODI and T20 levels. He led India to the semifinal round of the 2015 Cricket World Cup before suffering a loss to eventual champion Australia, and in May the Chennai Super Kings went to the IPL Finals for the sixth time in his eight years as team captain.
Battling great Sachin Tendulkar is seventh on the list after earning Rs.58 crore, followed by Rohit Sharma at 16th (Rs. 24.17 crore) and Yuvraj Singh at 17th (Rs 16 crore). Indian cricket team‘s head coach Anil Kumble has earned Rs 7.55 crore in 2016.
Among non-cricketers, badminton ace Saina Nehwal earned the most with a total of Rs 20.18 crore, followed by tennis star Sania Mirza (Rs 14.58 crore) and golfer Anirban Lahiri (Rs 12.85 crore).
Despite winning medals at the Rio Olympics, PV Sindhu (Rs 3.42 crore) and Sakshi Malik (Rs 0.3 crore) figure quite low on earnings compared to the other sporting stars.