If there’s one thing that defiantly unites the 1.33 billion population of India, it is undoubtedly the game of cricket. In the face of all our trials and tribulations, it is the only distraction that grants us a refuge. The transition of cricket from a colonial inheritance to a deeply internalized emotion is a tale worth regaling for centuries. Being at the receiving end of such adoration and adulation, it is among the most sought-after professions as well. A career as a cricketer is among the most enviable vocations in this country. Not only does it make you the face of a billion people but also handsomely cushions your bank statements. A successful cricketer in this time and day is not far off from being the richest cricketer in the world.
MS Dhoni has a net worth of $111 million and Virat Kohli has a net worth of $92 million. But it is not as much as Tendulkar’s net worth. India as a country harbors extreme fanfare and the utmost devotion for the gentleman’s game. It is not surprising thus that it also begrudgingly houses the richest cricketer in the world. The richest cricketer in the world is none other than India’s very own pride Mr. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Widely considered to be the God of cricket, Sachin also makes his count among the most affluent sportspersons ever.
Life of the richest cricketer in the world
Born on April 24, 1973 to a Maharashtrian household, Sachin was the youngest one of his siblings. While his father, Ramesh Tendulkar, was a renowned Marathi poet and novelist, his mother Rajni was an insurance worker. Sachin’s nomenclature also has an interesting story behind it. Tendulkar household patriarch, Ramesh, was extremely fond of the works and the exploits of the great composer Sachin Dev Burman. Consequently, he proceeded with naming his youngest boy after the sensational composer as well.
It is a well-known public fact that cricket was not in fact Sachin’s first inclination. He grew up idolizing the sport of tennis and the legends in that game. Big-serving tennis icon John Mcenroe was Sachin’s all-time hero. In this light, Sachin’s transition into cricket was rather accidental. Sachin’s elder brother Ajit Tendulkar was in large responsible for this particular transition.
The story of Sachin’s inception into the game is as enthralling as his exploits on the 22 yards. The story traces itself back to one particularly lazy weekend afternoon in the Tendulkar household. While the whole family was actively devouring the 1965 blockbuster Guide on Doordarshan, Sachin found himself atop a mango tree. No sooner had Dev Anand piqued the family’s curiosity, than a dull thud announced itself in the backyard. Sachin’s attempts at plucking away the season’s favorites had miserably failed. Ajit Tendulkar, worried about his brother’s misguided impulsivity, took it upon himself to find a better channel. In the following days, Sachin would find himself in Shivaji park yielding a willow under the tutelage of Ramakant Achrekar.
Thanks to his brother Ajit’s sensible thinking, Sachin’s career started taking full swing under the able guidance of Ramakant Achrekar. Coach Achrekar was responsible for making a lot of formative decisions for a young Tendulkar. Impressed by his prodigious talent, Achrekar made him shift schools to Sharadashram Vidya Mandir High School at Dadar. This decision was made with a view to further bolster his cricketing career and secures some much-needed spotlight.
In order to accommodate this new change in his schedule, Sachin had to shift to his uncle’s in Shivaji Park. The relationship with his coach Achrekar is something that Sachin holds absolutely fundamental to his growth as a cricketer. There are many instances that he has shared in the past to seal this particular narrative. One such fabled event is the incident of the 13 coins.
In order to counter his net practice fatigue, Achrekar would bait him with single rupee coin challenges. The challenge was fairly simple in its ideology. Achrekar would place a coin atop the three stumps behind Tendulkar’s stance. If Tendulkar managed to stay unbeaten for the entire day, then the coin’s ownership would be his. In this game of grit and endurance, Sachin managed to bag 13 hard-earned coins to his credit. In the times to come, he would fondly rate these coins at a higher scale than his other prized possessions.
A world of rejections
Charting his way to the topmost rung certainly entailed its own set of failures as well. Even as a budding young sportsperson, Sachin’s career wasn’t definitely shy of a few setbacks. An ardent believer of “when the going gets tougher, the tougher get going”, he has well reflected that in cricket. Similar to how he has always taken his professional setbacks headlong, a younger Sachin sincerely practiced that philosophy as well. His earliest rejection came in the form of his first selection trials. Throwing light on this particular instance, he himself claims that it was this very moment that fueled his characteristic tenacity.
Another very famous documented incident traces its origin to the ancient Indian city of Chennai. It is here that India houses its prestigious MRF Pace Foundation. A healthy lot of Indian fast bowling greats owe their provenance to this particular institution. In 1987, a young Tendulkar at the tender age of 14 made his way over to the academy as well. He harbored hopes of being an esteemed graduate of this foundation and realize his sporting dream in the process. However, foundation director at the time, Australian great Dennis Lillee played spoilsport to Sachin’s aspirations.
He was of the sincere opinion that Sachin’s bowling prowess left much to one’s desire. He was immediate in expressing his disapproval and urged Sachin to focus on his batting only. That very year, another rejection announced itself in the form of the Bombay Cricket Association. Tendulkar, who at that time was the talk of the junior circuit, was set to receive BCA’s best junior cricketer. However, that was not to be and this left a young Sachin highly disheartened. As means of consolation former Indian skipper, Sunil Gavaskar gifted him a pair of his own ultra-light pads.
A career as the richest cricketer in the world is fraught with its own set of inconsistencies and controversies. Sachin, who hails from humble roots, has always tried his best to be at the opposite spectrum of media’s glare. However, adversities are barely accommodating of their victims’ pleas and urges.
The Ferrari fiasco certainly claims its place as the foremost incident among his list of mishaps. In the cricketing fraternity, it was a moment of great significance when Tendulkar equaled Sir Bradman’s haul of 29 centuries. Fiat, as a gesture of contributing to the immensity, decided on gifting Sachin a Ferrari. India’s finance minister at the time, Jaswant Singh, volunteered to waive custom duties to facilitate the import of the Ferrari. However prevalent rules at the time were against waivers exercised on gifts. And the minister’s seemingly good-natured gesture didn’t sit well with the general public. This differential treatment of Sachin as the richest cricketer in the world caused a huge public uproar at the time.
Another such controversy that has plagued much of Tendulkar’s public image is his equation with childhood buddy Vinod Kambli. Both of them started their careers at the same time and their joint on-field exploits received much media coverage. Their joint partnership of 664 runs in Lord Harris Shield is still an inter-school cricketing sensation. However, while Tendulkar’s career ricocheted to unprecedented heights, Kambli’s career fizzled away rather unceremoniously. A lot of this attributed to Kambli’s self-destructive tendencies. Things however took an ugly turn when Kambli implicitly held Tendulkar responsible on reality TV for his professional demise. It has been a much talked about affair ever since.
Brand endorsements have played a vital role in giving Sachin the tag of the richest cricketer in the world. Sachin’s on-field exploits and the resultant massive popularity have put him at the receiving end of many brand endorsements. He has lent his persona to be the face of many reputable brands; handsomely lining his pockets as well. Among all Indian sportspersons, he was the first to bag a 100-crore endorsement deal
At $170mn, Sachin Tendulkar net worth gives even the richest actor in the world a run for his money. Among his most recognized endorsements, is one with the energy drink brand “Boost”. The advertisements from that campaign still do their rounds on the television. Another one of his memorable ads includes those with popular soft drink beverage brand Pepsi. For their inclusion of other Indian cricketing stalwarts, these Pepsi ads were among the most adored across the nation’s households. His endorsement of MRF on his cricket bat made it a household name in India across people of all ages.
Currently, he also acts in the capacity of brand ambassador for UNICEF, BMW, Luminous and Sony Ten among others. Even after his retirement from the professional cricketing scene, his brand endorsements didn’t suffer a conspicuous dip. This in turn speaks volumes about the brand value that he has managed to establish for himself. Apart from these endorsements, he’s also the owner of his own restaurant chain with business partner Sanjay Narang. Currently, he’s also the joint franchise owner of Premier Badminton League based team Bengaluru Blasters.
Tendulkar- The good Samaritan
The richest cricketer in the world also spends a sizeable part of his income over matters of charity and philanthropy. His Mumbai based NGO Apnalaya is a major step in this direction. In this particular venture, he is jointly associated with his mother-in-law Annabel Mehta. Apnalaya works actively every year towards the cause of sponsoring two hundred underprivileged children. Seen as motions initiated by the country’s most-followed sportspersons, these campaigns end up securing substantial audience support.
His 9-hour presence on the 12-hour Coca-Cola-NDTV Support My School telethon is among his most noteworthy contributions too. In this particular campaign, he helped raise a commendable sum of 7 crore rupees. This was raised for the creation of fundamental facilities especially in the form of toilets for female students. This campaign extended to about one hundred and forty government schools all across the nation. He has always found himself at the forefront of such philanthropic activities.
The Crusade against Cancer Foundation finds itself a prominent activist and contributor in the form of Sachin Tendulkar himself. Along with his wife Anjali Tendulkar, he’s sincerely pledged to this particular cause. A simple tweet by Sachin on this particular front managed to raise about $140 million for the CACF. Throughout his commercial career, Tendulkar has always consciously stayed away from endorsements with alcohol and tobacco brands. He is also frequently involved in nation-wide eye donation camps and awareness campaigns. Tendulkar also frequently collaborates with Bollywood celebrities to further champion the cause of other rampant social inequalities and injustices.
There is really no textbook guide towards becoming the richest cricketer in the world. At the end of the day, it boils down to the cumulative realization of the individual’s hard work and sincerity. Sachin Tendulkar as the richest cricketer in the world is a living embodiment of this very fact. His journey from the curly-haired dreamy-eyed boy to becoming the country’s Master Blaster is truly and irrevocably inspiring. Setbacks in the life of Sanchin came undoubtedly; both personal and professional. Prominent among these is the passing away of his father and his imbroglio with Vinod Kambli.
In the face of these adversities, he has been absolutely exceptional. Not only he managed to put up a brave face for himself, but also inadvertently guided a nation towards it. In doing so, his riches can’t just be merely gauged from his commercial ventures and his multiple brand endorsements. They are also inextricably involved in the values that he managed to ingrain in the collective consciousness of a county. In undertaking the mantle that he has, he truly has gained the title of the richest cricketer in the world.