The SA20 Auction caught everyone’s attention this week, which leads to the logical question, “What are the Richest Cricket Leagues, and where does SA20 league rank?” Here is a quick answer.

The Indian Premier League is the richest cricket league in the world. As per the 2022 Mega Auction & Retention, the IPL paid its players a whopping $116,339,000 combined for its 234 players who play for their ten franchise teams in a three-month season. The upcoming UAE International T20 & SA20 rank behind at #2 & #3 in terms of player salaries, while the Abu Dhabi T10 League is at #10 with a $2,500,000 combined salary for about 100 players.

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Times are changing, cricket is becoming infused with money, and different leagues are popping left and right. The SA20 Auction threw Tristan Stubbs and co into stardom, the UAE international T20 League will be a game changer, and the Big Bash is trying to attract overseas talent in their much-hyped Draft while keeping domestic stars like David Warner.

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Richest Cricket Leagues (Lowest to Highest)

Players now have choices, but maybe too many choices. As many as six leagues are scheduled between November & February. That is a daunting stat.

So, in Part III of our new series, Cricket & Finances, we try to help these players out & distinguish which leagues pay their players the most. We also cover the minimum & maximum wages, average salaries, total team salary cap, number of players a league can take, and the window it occupies in the cricket calendar.

Make Sure to Read the Earlier Content on Cricket & Finances

  1. Part I: How Much Do Different Types of Cricketers Earn Per Year (2022)? Salaries of Pujara, Stokes, Warner, Billings, Tim David Revealed!
  2. Part II: Salary of Cricketers (Men’s) from Each of the 12 Nations (2022)—The Complete Guide
  3. The Need for Champions League & a T20 League Calendar

How The Overall Cost Was Calculated: For leagues where all the information is public (like IPL auction player by player cost), each player’s cost was added for the total. For leagues where only partial information was available, the franchise’s maximum purse/salary cap was multiplied by the number of teams in that particular league.

10. Abu Dhabi T10 League ($2,500,000)

  • Abu Dhabi T10 League Average Cricketer Salary: $25,000
  • Minimum Wage: $5,000
  • Maximum Amounts: $50,000-$100,000

*$50,000 is the minimum amount paid for the highest category of player in the draft. However, to attract certain cricketers, the actual amounts may be higher.

Calendar Window: November-December

Salary Cap Estimate (Per Team): $400,000-$600,000

  • Number of Teams: 6
  • Total Players: 100-110 (16-18 players per team)

9. Lanka Premier League ($3,000,000)

  • Lanka Premier League (LPL) Average Cricketer Salary: $30,000
  • Minimum Wage: $10,000
  • Maximum Amounts: $60,000

Calendar Window: December

Salary Cap Estimate (Per Team): $400,000-$600,000

  • Number of Teams: 5
  • Total Players: 100 (20 per team)
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8. Caribbean Premier League ($4,500,000)

  • Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Average Cricketer Salary: $50,000
  • Minimum Wage: $3,000
  • Maximum Amounts: $160,000

Calendar Window: August-September

Salary Cap Estimate (Per Team): $750,000

  • Number of Teams: 6
  • Total Players: 90 (15 per team)

*Note, in the 2020 season post-COVID, players took a 30% pay-cut.

Source: CPL confirms Trinidad & Tobago plans, will ask players to take pay cuts (espncricinfo.com)

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7. Bangladesh Premier League ($4,800,000)

  • Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Average Cricketer Salary: $40,000
  • Minimum Wage: $5,555
  • Maximum Amounts: $77,000

Calendar Window: January-February

Salary Cap Estimate (Per Team): $700.000-$800,000

  • Number of Teams: 6
  • Total Players: 110-120 (18-20 per team)

*The BPL have suffered due to payments and franchise trouble in the last couple of years. In the earlier years, the BPL paid its foreign players up to $200,000 making it more lucrative than even the BBL. Now, the board has taken over the league instead of franchises.

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6. Pakistan Super League ($5,700,000)

  • Pakistan Super League (PSL) Average Cricketer Salary: $53,000
  • Minimum Wage: $5,000
  • Maximum Amounts: $170,000

Calendar Window: February-March

Salary Cap Estimate (Per Team): $950,000

  • Number of Teams: 6
  • Total Players: 108 (18 per team)

Ramiz Raza has proposed changing the current drafts system (Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver, Emerging categories) to the auction format and increase the salary cap from $950,000 to $1.5 million. Watch out for the PSL. This is a fast-rising league and will survive.

Source: Pakistan Super League – PSL 2023 to start on February 9, final on March 19 (espncricinfo.com)

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5. The Hundred ($9,000,000)

  • The Hundred (Men’s) Average Cricketer Salary: $75,000
  • Minimum Wage: $33,000 (30,000 Pounds)
  • Maximum Amounts: $150,000 (135,000 Pounds)

Calendar Window: August

Salary Cap Estimate (Per Team): $1,125,000 (1 Million Pounds)

  • Number of Teams: 8
  • Total Players: 120 (15 per team)

Source: The Hundred 2022 – England stars to receive Hundred salary boost for 2022 tournament (espncricinfo.com)

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4. Big Bash League T20 ($10,000,000)

  • Big Bash League (BBL) Average Cricketer Salary: $75,000
  • Minimum Wage: $27,000 (AUD 42,000)
  • Maximum Amounts: $ 225,000 (AUD 340,000) – overseas BBL Draft, $133,000 (AUD 200,000) – Australian players

Calendar Window: December-February

Salary Cap Estimate (Per Team): $1,250,000 (AUD 1,900,000)

  • Number of Teams: 8
  • Total Players: 144 (18 per team)

*Replacement Cap: $33,000 (AUD 50,000) outside of salary cap

For the upcoming BBL draft, the categories are as follows:

  • Platinum: $ 225,000 (AUD 340,000)
  • Gold: $175,000 (AUD 260,000)
  • Bronze: $66,000 (AUD 100,000)

Sources: David Warner’s BBL return confirmed with two-year Sydney Thunder deal (espncricinfo.com); The BBL overseas draft is here: how will it work, how much can players earn and can star players be retained? (espncricinfo.com)

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3. SA 20 League ($13,421,200)

  • South Africa T20 League (SA20) Average Cricketer Salary: $133,000
  • Minimum Wage: $10,000
  • Maximum Amounts: $519,000

Calendar Window: January-February

Salary Cap Estimate (Per Team): $ 2,000,000

  • Number of Teams: 6
  • Total Players: 101 (16-17 per team)

Overall, 101 players were sold via auction and pre-auction signings. In particular, the prices were

  • Average Auction Price: $89,000 (80 Players)
  • Estimated Pre-Auction Signing: $300,000 (21 Players)

Source: Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone sign up for CSA’s new T20 league as competition for players intensifies (espncricinfo.com)

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2. UAE International T20 League ($15,000,000)

  • UAE International League T20 (ILT20) Average Cricketer Salary: $138,889
  • Minimum Wage: $10,000
  • Maximum Amounts: $450,000 ($340,000 + $110,000 max in loyalty bonuses)

Calendar Window: January-February

Salary Cap Estimate (Per Team): $2.5 Million ($1.5 million – minimum wage bill, $500,000 – signing/loyalty optional bonus, $500,000 – bid purse)

  • Number of Teams: 6
  • Total Players: 108 (18 per team)

Source: UAE T20 league sets USD 450000 annual contract for top players (espncricinfo.com)

1. IPL Mega Auction ($116,339,000)

  • Indian Premier League (IPL) Average Cricketer Salary: $497,175
  • Minimum Wage: $26,000
  • Maximum Amounts: $2,133,000

Calendar Window: March-June

Salary Cap Estimate (Per Team): $11 Million (Rs. 90 crore)

  • Number of Teams: 10
  • Total Players: 234 (20-30 Per Team)

The mind-numbing thing to think about is that each IPL franchise has a larger salary cap purse than most other cricket leagues. Here are the details from the IPL 2022 Mega Auction.

Royal Challengers Bangalore ($11, 785,000)

  • Auction: $ 7,386,000 ($388, 737 Average)
  • Retention: $ 4,399,000 ($1,466,333 Average)

Kolkata Knight Riders ($10,582,000)

  • Auction: $6,050,000 ($318, 421 Average)
  • Retention: $4,532,000 ($1,133,000 Average)

Punjab Kings ($11,198,000)

  • Auction: $9,065,000 ($412,045 Average)
  • Retention: $2,133,000 ($1,066,500 Average)

Chennai Super Kings ($11,596,000)

  • Auction: $5,997,000 ($285,571)
  • Retention: $5,599,000 ($1,399750)

Delhi Capitals ($11,508,000)

  • Auction: $6,309,000 ($315,350 Average)
  • Retention: $5,199,000 ($1,299,750 Average)

Rajasthan Royals ($11,862,000)

  • Auction: $8,130,000 ($ 387,143 Average)
  • Retention: $3,732,000 ($1,244,000 Average)

Mumbai Indians ($11, 977,000)

  • Auction: $ 6,378,000 ($303,714 Average)
  • Retention: $ 5,599,000 ($1,399,750 Average

Sunrisers Hyderabad ($11,977,000)

  • Auction: $ 9,045,000 ($452,250 Average)
  • Retention: $ 2,932,000 ($977,333.3 Average)

Lucknow Super Giants ($11,883,000)

  • Auction: $ 7,858,000 ($436,556)
  • Retention: $ 4,025,000 ($1,341,667)

Gujarat Titans ($11,971,000)

  • Auction: $ 6,905,000 ($345,250)
  • Retention: $5,066,000 ($1, 688, 667)

Source: IPL Auction 2022 – Live Updates | ESPNcricinfo

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 09/22/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).