Today we discuss the salary of a Major League Cricket player in the USA.
When it comes to professional sports in America, we often think of baseball, basketball, and football as the top dogs.
But there’s a new player in town that’s been gaining international attention: Cricket. Major League Cricket has been making waves in the sports world, especially with the growing popularity of T20 cricket. However, there’s one question on every cricket fan’s mind: just how much do these players make?
MLC Cricketer Salary – By the Numbers
The average salary of a Major League Cricket player (MLC) is $60,526 (maximum 19 players in squad with a purse of $1.15 million).
The average salary for a domestic Major League cricketer is $39,375 ($315,000 purse for a total of 8 domestic players), while the average salary for an overseas MLC cricketer is $92,200 ($830,000 for nine overseas slots)
About $320,000 from the $1.15 million will be spent on the ten domestic players. This means about $830,000 is remaining in the purse of each team to sign the nine overseas players. Note, that this amount may be skewed. For example, according to a Daily Mail report, Jason Roy has been offered 300,000 pounds ($372,000) on a 2-year contract ($186,000/year). This means that LA Knight Riders, who signed Jason Roy, will be left with about $644,000 for their remaining 8 overseas signing (for an average of $80,500 per overseas player).
Major League Cricket (MLC) – How Much Was Each Draft Pick?
The Major League Cricket (MLC) draft was held earlier this year in the NASA Space Center in Houston.
The draft picks ranged from $10,000 (8th round pick) to $75,000 (1st round pick). Rookies were drafted in the 9th round (reportedly around $2,500) and an additional tenth player will be picked for each team following the Minor League Cricket (MiLC) season preceding the MLC.
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MLC Draft Picks – Salary of Major League Cricket Player
1. First Round Draft Pick ($75,000)
Harmeet Singh (Seattle Orcas), Andries Gous (Washington Freedom), Steven Taylor (MI New York), Corey Anderson (San Francisco Unicorns), Ali Khan (Los Angeles Knight Riders), Rusty Theron (Texas Super Kings)
2. Second Round Draft Pick ($65,000)
Shehan Jayasuriya (Seattle Orcas), Mukhtar Ahmed (Washington Freedom), Hammad Azam (MI New York), Liam Plunkett (San Francisco Unicorns), Unmukt Chand (Los Angeles Knight Riders), Calvin Salvage (Texas Super Kings)
3. Third Round Draft Pick ($50,000)
Shubham Ranjane (Seattle Orcas), Obus Pienaar (Washington Freedom), Ehsan Adil (MI New York), Tajinder Singh (San Francisco Unicorns), Jaskaran Malhotra (Los Angeles Knight Riders), Lahiru Milantha (Texas Super Kings)
4. Fourth Round Draft Pick ($40,000)
Cameron Gannon (Seattle Orcas), Saurabh Netravalkar (Washington Freedom), Nosthush Kenjige (MI New York), Chaitanya Bishnoi (San Francisco Unicorns), Nitish Kumar (Los Angeles Knight Riders), Milind Kumar (Texas Super Kings)
5. Fifth Round Draft Pick ($35,000)
Aaron Jones (Seattle Orcas), Saad Ali (Washington Freedom), Monank Patel (MI New York), Carmi Le Roux (San Francisco Unicorns), Corne Dry (Los Angeles Knight Riders), Sami Aslam (Texas Super Kings)
6. Sixth Round Draft Pick ($25,000)
Nauman Anwar (Seattle Orcas), Dane Piedt (Washington Freedom), Sarbjeet Singh Ladda (MI New York), Brody Couch (San Francisco Unicorns), Ali Sheikh (Los Angeles Knight Riders), Cameron Stevenson (Texas Super Kings)
7. Seventh Round Draft Pick ($15,000)
Phani Simhadri (Seattle Orcas), Sujith Gowda (Washington Freedom), Shayan Jahangir (MI New York), David White (San Francisco Unicorns), Saif Badar (Los Angeles Knight Riders), Cody Chetty (Texas Super Kings)
8. Eighth Round Draft Pick ($10,000)
Angelo Perera (Seattle Orcas), Justin Dill (Washington Freedom), Kyle Phillip (MI New York), Smit Patel (San Francisco Unicorns), Shadley Van Schalkwyk, Zia Shahzad (Texas Super Kings)
9. Ninth Round Draft Pick ($2,500)
Matthew Tromp (Seattle Orcas), Akhilesh Bodugum (Washington Freedom), Saideep Ganesh (MI New York), Sanjay Krishnamurthi (San Francisco Unicorns), Bhaskar Yadram (Los Angeles Knight Riders), Saiteja Mukkamalla (Texas Super Kings)
10. Overseas Signings ($60,000-$372,000)
The exact amounts for the overseas signings have not been disclosed yet. These are estimates based on reports and the purse allocated to each team.
Anrich Nortje, Wanindu Hasaranga, Marco Jansen, Glenn Phillips, Adam Milne (Washington Freedom)
Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis (San Francisco Unicorns)
Quinton de Kock, Wayne Parnell, Dasun Shanaka, Sikandar Raza (Seattle Orcas)
In conclusion, Major League Cricket players in the USA will be making a decent amount of money from MLC, a league that lasts only three weeks.
The average salary for a professional cricketer in the league ranges from $25,000 to $75,000, with the top players earning considerably more. While it may not match the salary of some of the top athletes in America, it is impressive for a sport that’s still finding its footing in the country.
As a fan of the sport, it’s exciting to see the potential for growth and success in Major League Cricket, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these talented athletes. With cricket’s popularity on the rise, it’s not a stretch to say that the league’s players could one day be just as well-compensated as their counterparts in football and baseball.
The salary of cricketers in Australia from central contracts and match fees is the most lucrative between $362,500-1.75 million with England & India close behind with salary up to $1.5 million & 1.295 million respectively. Afghanistan, $20,000-40,000 and Zimbabwe at $4,000-90,000 rank at the bottom of the spectrum. New Zealand, South Africa, and West Indies players earn somewhere in the middle, which is why several of them have to go to England, Australia, and India to ply their trade to earn a bit more.
We present a complete breakdown of the earnings and rank each nation’s central contract strength from lowest to highest.
Salary of Cricketers from Each Nation – The Complete List (Lowest to Highest)
For the sake of this analysis, we will only consider the 12 Test playing nations.
How Did We Calculate the Estimated Salary Ranges?
We have done a bit of research based on annual reports, press releases, and trusted sources from each national board. We arrived at estimates for player salaries based on retainer central contracts and match fees. Brand endorsements, sponsorships, team/board bonuses, and match awards are not taken into consideration.
All of our sources are listed below each nation’s analysis for your reference.
Afghanistan Cricket National Contract Estimated Salary
Estimated Salary Range:$20,000-$40,000 (which may vary depending on the contract grade)
Afghanistan Cricket Board Annual Report Analysis
Since data is not widely available on Afghanistan central contracts, we make an educated estimate based on their annual report. As per ACB’s 2020 Annual report, the ACB had a revenue of $7.15 million and expenses around $6.76 million (images attached below). From the expenses, $1.71 million was administrative cost, while $5.05 million was technical cost.
Around $1.937 million was spent on international cricket, $1.44 million accrual of 2020 (or prior) overall, and $ 883,000 was spent on HR activities. Although it is not stated what portion of this money was allocated for player salaries, we can estimate that around $1 million were spent on salaries of players, coaches, support staff, etc. Currently, there are 34 centrally contracted players (listed below). Hence, we came up with the above estimate for the Afghanistan cricketer salary.
List of Afghanistan Centrally Contracted Cricketers
Grade A: Rashid Khan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi
Match fees information is not available for Afghanistan cricket.
*Note: The annual report is from 2020, prior to the Taliban takeover. No official data is available since the political situation changed in Afghanistan. For example, 25 centrally contracted women’s cricketers were added in 2020 and several development programs started. This is, most likely, no longer the case.
According to Zimbabwe’s 2020-21 Annual Report, they had allocated $659,827 for statutory obligations and salaries, $788,891 for salaries in domestic cricket, and $1,620,326 for HR-related activities in international cricket.
Zimbabwe Cricket National Contract
Based on Cricket Monthly, in 2017 Zimbabwe’s players earned:
What Are Match Fees for Zimbabwean Cricketers?
Estimated Match Fees: Between November 2021 and October 2022 (between the two consecutive T20 World Cups), Zimbabwe played a total of 15 ODIs ($15,000), and 16 T20Is ($8,000).
Zimbabwe cricket has faced lots of contract negotiation issues over the years, but it seems like not much as changed since 2013. In 2013, ESPNCricinfo reported Zimbabwean domestic cricketer’s salary as follows:
Grade A: $42,000
Grade B: $24,000
Grade C: $18,000
Zimbabwe Cricket Highest Paid (2017)
Graeme Cremer was the highest earned Zimbabwe cricketer (from central contracts & match fees only), estimated around $90,000.
According to Ireland’s 2019 Directors’ Report and Financial Statements, the wages and salaries amounted to $3.7 million (3,690,196 euros), from which $1.57 million (1,557,584 euros) was allocated for high performance player contracts & match fees distributed among 25 centrally contracted players.
What Are Match Fees for South African Cricketers?
Estimated Match Fees: Between November 2021 and October 2022 (between the two consecutive T20 World Cups), South Africa played a total of 9 ODIs ($9,900), and 22 T20Is ($9,900).
A player who played all three formats in this time period would have earned $19,800 in match fees alone.
List of Centrally Contracted Ireland Cricketers 2022-23
2-year Contracts: Mark Adair, Andrew Balbirnie, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, Josh Little, Andy McBrine, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Craig Young
1-Year Contract: Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Shane Getkate, Barry McCarthy, James McCollum, Ben White, William Porterfield (now retired)
Maximum Possible Salary: $266,720 (Top Tier + All 3-format Maximum Match Fee)
Minimum Possible Salary: $140,250 (Bottom Tier Contract + Tests only)
West Indies Cricket National Contract (2017)
Top Tier: $140,000
Mid Tier: $120,000
Bottom Tier: $100,000
According to CWI’s 2021 Financial Statements, overall international retainers added to $2,248,583 and match fees amounted to $3,454,310. Including captain’s allowances, players insurance, injury payments, incentives, franchise retainers, etc., the total payment to players totaled a whopping $8,758,878.
Overall, WI have 18 contracted players for the men’s team & 19 for the women’s respectively. Assuming the men & women early equally, on average retainer + match fee is about $236,726.43 per West Indian cricketer.
What Are Match Fees for West Indian Cricketers?
Estimated Match Fees: Between November 2021 and October 2022 (between the two consecutive T20 World Cups), West Indies played a total of 7 Tests ($40,250), 21 ODIs ($48,300), and 24 T20Is ($41,640).
A player who played all three formats in this time period would have earned $130,190 in match fees alone.
West Indies Cricket Contracted Players List 2021-22
All-Format Contract: Jason Holder
Red Ball Only: Kraigg Brathwaite, Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Kyle Mayers, Kemar Roach
White Ball Only: Fabien Allen, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Alzarri Joseph, Nicholas Pooran, Hayden Walsh Jr.
Brandon King, Obed McCoy, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith have been added for the 2022-23 contract list
*An interesting note in CWI’s statement: ‘A number of players were not retained because they did not meet the minimum requirements.’
West Indies Cricket Highest Paid (2017)
Jason Holder was the highest earned West Indian cricketer (from central contracts & match fees only), estimated around $270,000.
Estimated Match Fees: Between November 2021 and October 2022 (between the two consecutive T20 World Cups), New Zealand played a total of 9 Test matches ($59,400), 13 ODIs ($32,500), and 14 T20Is ($22,498).
A New Zealander men’s cricketer playing all three formats would have earned up to $114,398 in match fees in the 2021-22 season. Hence, Trent Boult is trying to make the most of this match fee while giving up his $300,000+ retainer.
New Zealand Cricket Highest Paid (2018)
Kane Williamson was the highest earned New Zealand cricketer (from central contracts & match fees only), estimated around $289,000.
New Zealand Cricket Contract List 2022-23
Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young
For a player in the XI for these formats, an Indian player earns
Test: Rs. 15 Lakh ($18,800)
ODI:Rs. 6 Lakh ($7,524)
T20I: Rs. 3 Lakh ($3,762)
*However, the fee is deducted 50% if the player is in the squad but not playing in the XI. The corresponding figures are $9,400 (Tests), $3,762 (ODIs), and $1,881 (T20Is).
Estimated Match Fees: Between November 2021 and October 2022 (between the two consecutive T20 World Cups), India played a total of 8 Test matches ($150,400), 18 ODIs ($135,432), and 35 T20Is ($131,670).
For someone who played all three formats and every game in this time period, that player had the potential to earn up to $417,502 in match fees on top of their annual contract.
Indian Cricket Highest Paid (2017)
Virat Kohli was the highest earned Indian cricketer (from central contracts & match fees only), estimated around $1,000,000.
Maximum Possible Earnings: $1.51 million (Full Contract + Maximum Fees for 3-format player)
Minimum Possible Earnings: $349,500 (White Ball Only + 1-format ODI player only)
England Cricket Central Contracts
Full Contract (Max): $1.125 million (925,000 pounds)
*Between 2016-2021, contracts were separated based on formats (figures below)but now aredivided between central contracts, increment contracts, and pace bowling development contracts.
Red Ball Only: $790,000 (650,000 pounds)
White Ball Only:$300,000-365,000 (250,000-300,000 pounds)
What Are Match Fees for England Cricketers?
Tests:$17,600 (14,500 pounds)
White Ball: $5,500 (4,500 pounds)
Estimated Match Fees: Between November 2021 and October 2022 (between the two consecutive T20 World Cups), England played a total of 15 Tests($264,000), 9 ODIs ($49,500), and 13 T20Is($71,500).
For someone who played all three formats and every game in this time period, that player had the potential to earn up to $385,000 in match fees on top of their annual contract.
England Cricket Highest Paid (2017)
Joe Root was the highest-paid cricketer from England (from central contracts & match fees only), estimated around $1,380,000.
England Cricket Contract List 2022-23
Full Contract: Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Increment Contracts: Dom Bess, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone
Pace bowling development contracts: Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Olly Stone
Maximum Salary Estimate: $1.75 million (Negotiated Contract + All 3-formats Maximum Match Fees)
Minimum Salary Estimate: $362,500 (Minimum Contract + Home Test matches only)
Australia Cricket National Contract
Minimum Contract: $300,000
Average Contract: $800,000
It is reported that players like David Warner and other prominent Australian cricketers may earn upwards of $1.5 million based on the final negotiations.
What are Match Fees for Australian Cricketers?
For a player in the XI for these formats, an Indian player earns
Home Test Fees: $12,500 USD ($18,000 AUD)
Away Test Fees: $17,725 USD ($25,000 AUD)
ODI Fees: $4,800 USD ($7,000 AUD)
T20I Fees: $3,800 USD ($5,500 AUD)
Estimated Match Fees: Between November 2021 and October 2022 (between the two consecutive T20 World Cups), Australia played a total of 10 Test matches (5 Home – $62,500, 5 Away – $88,625), 14 ODIs ($67,200), and 17 T20Is ($64,600).
A player who played all formats during this time period could have earned match fees alone up to $282,925.
Australia Cricket Highest Paid (2017)
Steve Smith was the highest earned Australian cricketer (from central contracts & match fees only), estimated around $1, 470,000.
Australia Cricket Contract List 2022-23
Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner, Adam Zampa