Comparing IPL and PSL captains based on their salaries

Comparing IPL and PSL captains based on their salaries

The results are rather interesting- specially considering how some of these franchises have performed historically.

MS Dhoni and Sarfraz Khan
MS Dhoni and Sarfraz Khan. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI and Getty Images)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Pakistan Super League (PSL) are among the most popular sporting events in the world. Year after year, fans all across the globe tune into the IPL and the PSL to get a taste of the top-quality, cricket action that these tournaments have to offer. Thanks to this popularity, both leagues have the backing of some lucrative money deals, which safeguards their financial sustainability.

Star sports, official broadcasters of the IPL, for example, invested a whopping, 2.5 billion USD (INR 16350 Crores) when they acquired the viewership rights for the 2018-22 cycle back in 2017. Naturally, there are quite a few advantages of having such strong, monetary support; the IPL has had a much-improved presentation and coverage over the last few seasons.

More importantly, though, the added boost has allowed franchisees to spend more on players. Not only has this made the auctions and trading dynamics much more interesting. But with the extra money, several IPL stars have found their ways into the top-paid athletes’ list. 

So how does the PSL, IPL’s rival tournament, in terms of viewership and competition, compare on this front? To answer that question, here’s a comparison salary-wise between the top paid PSL captains and their IPL counterparts. The results are rather interesting– especially considering how some of these franchises have performed historically.

Here’s the list:

1. Virat Kohli (INR 17 Crores) vs Shadab Khan (INR 1 Crore)

Virat Kohli and Shadab Khan
Virat Kohli and Shadab Khan. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI and Getty Images)

It’s hardly a surprise that the captain of the Indian national team finds his name on this list, that too at the peak spot. What is strange– other than the salary discrepancy– is how drastically different the two teams have performed.

Kohli has been unable to replicate his success with the national team at the RCB– as is evident from their empty, silverware cabinet. Across the 6 seasons he has captained Bangalore in, RCB have only made 2 playoff appearances. With a win percentage of 47.16, he is quite lagging on the list top IPL captains.

Islamabad United (ISL), meanwhile, have been the best team in the PSL so far. Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq captained them to title wins in the 2016 and 2018 seasons. Leggie Shadab Khan took over the reins once he retired, and has done a moderately successful job so far; leading them to a third-place finish in the 2019 season. The 2020 season wasn’t as good- his team finished last- but that single blemish aside, it’s fair to say that ISL has been a much more consistent side than RCB.

But that sentiment gets nulled when you compare the salaries of both the captains. RCB retained Virat for the 2018 mega auctions at a staggering price of INR 17 Crores; higher than any other player– retained or otherwise– in the tournament. Meanwhile, Islamabad also retained Shadab ahead of the 2020 season at the highest-paid, Platinum category of players. But in terms of earnings, Shadab’s contract rounds off to INR 1 Crore, 17 times less than Kohli. Talk about a head-scratcher!