Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has been named the richest sportsperson in the country. In fact, he sits second on the 2018 Forbes India Celebrity 100 List rankings, right behind Bollywood superstar Salman Khan. Though his standing hasn't changed since the 2017 rankings, the 30-year-old skipper's earnings more than doubled year-on-year to a whopping Rs 228.09 crore.
And with this feat he rounds off an impressive year - being awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2018; being named the No. 1 Test batsman; becoming the fastest batsman to reach the milestone of 10,000 in One-Day Internationals; seeing his donated signed jersey placed next to all-time icon Sachin Tendulkar's portrait at the Bradman Museum, which tends to honour the greatest achievers of the game; and getting his Karva Chauth tweet for his wife Anushka Sharma named as the Golden Tweet by Twitter India for bagging over 2 lakh likes.
Kohli will hope to end the year by becoming the first Indian captain to win a Test series in Australia, ending a 71-year barren spell. All cricket-lovers' eyes are now on the first Test of the four-match series at the Adelaide Oval in Sydney starting tomorrow.
The report added that the BCCI central contract and Royal Challengers Bangalore salary are not among the major contributors to Kohli's earnings - the real deal is his advertising contracts.
Coming in at the 5th ranking on the Forbes celeb list is the former Indian captain MS Dhoni, while Tendulkar continues to maintain his presence in the top three richest sportspersons despite retiring from the cricket years back.
PV Sindhu is the 4th richest sportsperson on the list. Fellow shuttler Saina Nehwal is the only other female athlete on the list, occupying the 10th spot in the standings and 58th rank overall among all the Indian celebs.
While the likes of Jasprit Bumrah (60th rank with earnings of Rs 16.42 crore) and Manish Pandey (77th rank, having earned Rs 13.08 crore) made it to the overall list for the first time in their careers, Hardik Pandya reportedly proved to be the biggest gainer.
The all-rounder bagged Rs 28.46 crore this year, taking a rise of more than 800% from a mere Rs 3.04 crore last year. A total of 21 sportspersons found a place in the Forbes' rich list of top 100 celebrities (see table).