Every cricket fan looks forward to the Indian Premier League. After all, the event gives fans the opportunity to see some truly great talent. Last year, some fans got to see their first piece of the action in person when the event became a truly global one for the first time ever. In 2020, all matches took place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
For many fans, however, it isn’t just about entertainment. Many cricket lovers will be betting on one of the most popular sports in worldwide competition at this year’s IPL. So they’ll be hoping that the big names on the teams they’re backing to shine. Of course, you can usually expect those who are paid the most to put on the biggest performances. With that in mind, here, we look at last year’s highest-paid international stars of IPL cricket.
1. Virat Kohli
Considered among the world’s best batsmen, the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain has been setting on-field batting records since 2013. The 32-year-old has won a number of awards for his country, such as the Arjuna Award in 2013 and the Padmishri in 2017. He was also given India’s highest sporting honour in 2018: the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. And he was ranked among the world’s most famous athletes by ESPN, as well as one of the most valuable sports brands by Forbes. In 2020, Forbes also ranked Kohli the 66th highest-paid athlete in the world.
2. Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins is the second-highest paid cricketer in the IPL. Known for his style and speed, the Australian cricketer made his first appearance in test cricket at just 18 years of age. He was named 2020 test cricketer of the year by the International Cricket Council (ICC). He played for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014 before playing for Delhi Daredevils, and then again for Kolkata in 2020. He also played for Mumbai Indians in 2018.
3. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
MS Dhoni (or Mahendra Singh Dhoni) is one of the sport’s most popular players. Under his captaincy, India won the ICC World Twenty20 in 2007, the Asia Cup in 2010 and 2016, the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011, and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013. He has a reputation for being one of cricket’s most-efficient ever captains. He was also captain of Chennai Super Kings, who won the IPL three times under his leadership. Dhoni has been given a number of awards honouring his performance. The player won’t make the 2021 list, as he retired last year. But with all those honours to his name, he’s one player who won’t be forgotten.
4. Rohit Sharma
Sharma enjoys immense popularity in India. He not only plays for Mumbai Indians, but he also captains the side in IPL. And in limited-overs cricket, he plays for the Indian team, which he’s also the vice-captain of. Sharma has received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, with only three Indian cricketers having been given the award before him. He’s also a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and an ambassador for WWF-India. He actively supports a number of campaigns related to animal welfare.
5. David Warner
Australian David Warner has some great cricket experience. The left-handed opening batsman was the first cricketer from Australia to be called up for the national team without first-class cricket experience in some 132 years. Warner was also Australian vice-captain across ODI and Test formats. He represented Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL last year. In 2017, the cricketer was only the fourth player to be given the Allan Border Medal. And he also achieved the second-highest score for test batsman from Australia.