India skipper Virat Kohli continues to make headlines both on and off the pitch. The batting sensation only recently overtook Australian legend Ricky Ponting to become the second highest century-maker in ODIs following his 121-run knock in the first match against New Zealand.
There was even more good news for the skipper after Forbes released a list of the most valuable athletes in the world with the Indian batsman occupying the seventh spot.
Kohli’s brand value has been pegged ahead of Barcelona football star Lionel Messi and NBA outfit Golden State Warriors’ stalwart Stephen Curry.
Top 10 most valuable athletes
The cricket superstar’s brand value has been estimated to be $14.5 million by Forbes. The brand value of an athlete has been estimated by his total earnings (excluding salary and bonus from their sport and all investment income) minus the average income of the top 10 athletes playing the same sport.
Tennis great Roger Federer occupies the top spot in the list with a brand value of $37.2million with NBA star LeBron James ($33.4 million) and sprint legend Usain Bolt ($27 million) placed at second and third spot respectively.
In the fourth spot lies Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo with a brand value of $21.5 million while golfer Tiger Woods lies in sixth spot despite his recent struggles.
No other cricketer featured in the top 10 list by Forbes with the Indian Premier League (IPL) also failing to find a spot in the top 10 most valuable sport leagues around the globe.
Top 10 most valuable sporting events
Australia captain Steve Smith believes his team can capitalise on England’s inexperienced batting line-up in the forthcoming Ashes.
England’s quest to retain the urn begins in Brisbane next month when Joe Root’s men will bid to become the first since the side of 2010-11 to win an Ashes series on Australian soil.
Only four of those who will be the plane – Alastair Cook, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn – were part of that victorious unit, and a significant portion of this squad has limited experience of Test match cricket.
Opener Mark Stoneman has played in just three Tests, while James Vince and Dawid Malan, who will likely bat at three and five, have a combined 19 innings in international red-ball cricket.
Speaking to the BBC’s Stumped podcast, Smith said: “Dawid Malan and other guys have come in and played, I’m not entirely sure what order they will go with. Mark Stoneman will probably be at the top.
“They do have inexperienced players coming to Australia – hopefully they won’t be equipped for the fast and bouncy tracks compared to England and we can exploit them a little bit.”
England were unable to solve their issues at two, three and five over the summer series with South Africa and West Indies, which placed extra emphasis on Cook, Root and those batting lower down the order.
The tandem of Anderson and Broad remains pivotal from a bowling perspective too, and Smith wants to see plenty of that pair, and little of Cook and Root, across the five-match series.
“With regards to their batting, Alastair Cook and Joe Root are their two big players that we need to keep quiet,” Smith added.
“James Anderson and Stuart Broad are experienced – they have been here a few times so they know what to expect. We need to get those guys bowling a lot of overs – if we do that, hopefully we’ll have some success.”
Cricket’s hottest new format, the T10 Cricket League moved into top gear when the ‘Pick Order’ Draw of the six franchise owners took place at the exclusive members only ‘Capital Club’ on Tuesday (October 24) evening in Dubai.
Reminiscent of major international sports leagues such as NFL, NBA or PSL (Pakistan Super League), the ‘Pick Order’ Draw determines which team will get the first pick in the ‘Player Draft’ to be held in Dubai next month for the inaugural edition of the T10 Cricket League.
There was a buzz and excitement when owners of the six franchises namely Punjabi Legends, Pakhtoons, Maratha Arabians, Bengal Tigers, Colombo Lions and Kerala Kings came up to the stage to dip into a fish bowl to pick the number of their respective teams first.
It reached a crescendo during the second round when each of the team owners picked up one of the six randomly placed bats and peeled off a hidden number from 1 – 6 to determine who will get the first and last pick in the first round of the Draft.
There was friendly banter and rivalry amid a spirit of fair play as owners came up to select their bats with Anis Sajan, co-owner of Bengal Tigers even preferring to depend on ‘Lady Luck’ during the draw.
However, it was Maratha Arabians who came up trumps in the draw after team owners Parvez Khan and Ali picked up the No.1 bat to give them a head start in the Draft.
Colombo Lions co-owners Vijay Vyas and Kashif Shahzad picked up bat No.2, Pakhtoons owner Habib Khan selected bat No.3, Bengal Tigers claimed bat No. 4, Kerala Kings co-owner Hussain Adam Ali got bat No.5 while Punjabi Legends had to settle for bat No.6.
The pick orders for the rest of the rounds will be done randomly to give some form of equality to all teams.
The T10 Cricket League’s Board of Directors and team owners have been swinging into action ever since the first ever T10 Cricket League was launched amid glitz and glamour, in the presence of celebrities and star cricketers on October 3, 2017 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai.
The Owners ‘Pick Order’ Draw, a lottery system that gives Team Owners the advantage of securing their favourite players in the first round of the upcoming Draft on November, virtually kick-started the T10 Cricket League in the presence of an enthusiastic audience including members of the local and international media.
The Owners ‘Pick Order’ Draw was further enhanced and interest heightened after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) extended their full support to the much talked about T10 Cricket League which came closely on the heels of other national cricket governing bodies such as the Sri Lanka Cricket, Bangladesh Cricket Board, Zimbabwe Cricket and Emirates Cricket Board approving this extravaganza to be held at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the UAE from December 14 to 17.
The attraction of Shahid Afridi and the strong line-up of centrally contracted players from Pakistan and Bangladesh, will add a whole new bang to this much looked to 10 over format. With a potential audience of over 1.4 billion South Asian people, 90 minutes of action, 10 overs a side, star players, celebrities, performance shows, South Asian rivalries, performances after every over, drama and nail biting finishes it is undoubtedly cricket’s newest and hottest attraction.
Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman of Mulk Holdings and the T10 Cricket League, expressed his excitement to the team owners: “I am delighted to announce that the inaugural T10 Cricket League Draft will feature some of the best international cricketers it has to offer and second to none in its approach of fast paced, captivating and world famous brand ambassadors. On behalf of the team owners, the board of directors and the Emirates Cricket Board, I would like the fans to get behind their respective favorite teams in full spirit and support the hottest format cricket has to offer, the T10 Cricket League!”
Salman Iqbal, President of the T10 Cricket League and Founder and CEO of ARY digital network speaking on the PCB approval and Owners draw said: “Some of the cricketers in the Player Draft are some of the most exciting players in the world with star following of millions of passionate fans. They will be an integral part of our leagues’ success. I would like to thank all the cricket boards for their support for the T10 Cricket League and their progressive thinking towards the development of this game that we all love and wish all the team owners best of luck for the Draft!”
Also adding to the mix of T10 Cricket League, list of current international players including Eoin Morgan captain of the England team, Shakib Al Hasan, Virender Sehwag and Sangakkara, is the ‘cricketentainment’ which will begin from the first ball!
Over 100 performers per match to entertain crowds, crowd interaction, player interaction, rivalries, over 20 celebrities in attendance every match, International players and cricketing action from the first ball!
Team captains and coaches will have to adjust to the new format by deploying new strategies and adapting to the T10 Cricket League.
Speaking to the press Shahid Afridi said: “When I was told of the idea I was thrilled and requested that I want to play.”
Teams are solely based in and around the South Asian subcontinent and icons of business, movie industry and sport both in and around the region, including Bollywood actors have bought teams which include – Punjabi Legends (Inzamam Ul Haq and Intizar Ul Haq) led by Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakhtoons (Habib Khan) led by Shahid Afridi, Maratha Arabians (Parvez Khan, Bollywood star: Sohail Khan and Ali Tumbi led by Virender Sehwag), Bengal Tigers (Anis Sajan, Rizwan Sajan, Sirajuddin Alam and Neelesh Bhagatanar), Colombo Lions (Vijay Vyas, Kashif Shahzad and Mohomed Morani led by Shoaib Malik) and Kerala Kings (Hussain Adam Ali and Dr.Shafi Ul Mulk . The games will be broadcast all over the world.
Action takes place from December 14-17 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.