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Sports and India are slowly growing synonymous with one another, with the reach it has in the smallest of cities and villages. Individuals are now open to trying their luck at a sport they feel would be their strength, and with the vast number of sports offered, it makes it easier! There is gold, cricket, football, hockey, basketball, tennis, table tennis, badminton, athletics, etc! 

Those who enjoy sports can pursue a career in the sports industry, which can lead to a rewarding and successful career. You could look at a variety of sports work opportunities that can provide you with both financial and personal satisfaction, depending on your skills and objectives. Sports provide numerous avenues for employment for all young talents.  

In a country as diverse and sports-crazed as India, where passion for competition runs deep, the question of which sports command the highest paychecks lingers in the minds of many. From cricket’s stratospheric rise to the emergence of new sporting frontiers, India’s sports industry is constantly evolving, offering lucrative opportunities for athletes who excel in their respective fields. 

So which are the most popular sports in India, while also being Highly Paid?

Cricket Sports
  1. Well, one sport that Indians truly love is Cricket! And the proof is the craze behind every match, whether domestic or international, IPL or Ranji trophy, the support is always in huge numbers! So without a doubt, 

Cricket is the number one highly-paid sport in India. Since there are a majority of leagues and championships played for this sport, the effect it has on the masses is also high. When it comes to monetary benefits, cricket is unrivaled in the Indian sporting world. 

The Indian Premier League (IPL), a spectacular T20 cricket extravaganza, has transformed and commercialized cricket in India. The league’s large media rights, corporate sponsorships, and team ownership partnerships have resulted in massive compensation packages for players. Domestic and international cricketers with the highest incomes, supplemented by brand endorsements and appearance fees, demand astonishing salaries. 

From the likes of Sachin and Ganguly to Virat Kohli and Shubhman Gill, generations of cricketers have managed to make a spot in everyone’s heart, not only for themselves but for the sport too! So if you/your child is planning on building a career in sports then definitely keep cricket on your list.

Badminton Sports
  1. Badminton: India’s badminton scene has witnessed a meteoric rise in recent years, thanks to the stellar performances of players like Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. These trailblazers have brought glory to the nation and paved the way for enhanced financial prospects for badminton players.  Their success at international events, including winning medals at the Olympic Games, has not only brought immense pride to the nation but has also sparked a surge in interest and support for the sport. As a result, badminton has witnessed a substantial increase in popularity, leading to enhanced financial prospects for players. The growing popularity of badminton has attracted corporate sponsorships and endorsements from renowned brands. Companies recognize the marketability and potential of these exceptional athletes, leading to lucrative endorsement deals and financial partnerships. 

Moreover, prestigious tournaments like the BWF World Championships and the BWF Super Series offer substantial prize money, providing additional financial incentives for talented shuttlers to compete at the highest level. With the rise of leagues like the Premier Badminton League (PBL), players now have more opportunities to showcase their skills, gain exposure, and secure substantial contracts. If badminton is a sport that excites you, then here are a few reasons why you should consider it:

  • Highest-paid badminton players in India: Srikanth Kidambi and PV Sindhu
  • Second most played sport in the world too
  1. Kabaddi: While other sports in India, such as badminton and hockey, would have finished third a few years ago, kabaddi has resumed its status as the country’s third most popular sport. Kabaddi has returned to the mainstream among traditional Indian sports, thanks to the unexpected formation of the Pro-Kabaddi League, which is held yearly in many sites around India. Kabaddi is well-positioned to grow its audience in rural areas due to its obvious appeal and the development of new viewers who are constantly learning more about the sport, as well as the creation of a strong viewer base and a group of interested sponsors. Until 2017, India has won every Kabaddi World Cup. 
Cricket Badminton Kabaddi 
Highest paying athlete in IndiaVirat KohliP.V. SindhuPawan Sherawat
Ranking as a highest-paid athlete61th 12th in females
Number of people playing the sport3 million people in India200 million people(Worldwide)50m people (worldwide)
Annual SalaryRs. 252 croresRs. 59 croresRs. 2.26 crores

It wouldn’t come as a surprise to you, that cricket still owns the lion’s share of sports revenues in India. With us being such a cricket-heavy country, it’s really hard for other sports to break through. But in recent years, that notion has changed a bit, with kabaddi through PKL emerging as the 2nd most watched sport in India, and Badminton having a few renowned players of its own. A close look at the table above, tells us a story, that things are still lopsided towards cricket, but other sports are fighting for space too. Given the rise of mobile internet and devices within the country, it is only natural for people to stumble upon alternatives.

So to conclude and state the obvious, if you want money and fame, cricket is still that door in sports for India. It is the best-paid sport and by a long margin too at that. Badminton and Kabbadi are still light years behind, but at least now they have arrived at a checkpoint, where they have started to get noticed.

Take a step towards a lucrative career in sports by exploring these high-paying opportunities. Don’t miss out on your chance to excel in a field that combines passion and financial success. Get in touch with us now to learn more and start your journey to sporting greatness!

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