It is no secret that cricket is the most watched sport in India and also the most profitable. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has earned over Rs 43,000 crore from selling the media rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament alone. It is no secret that Virat Kohli, former Indian skipper MS Dhoni and Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar all have a net worth of over Rs 1,000 crore.
However, the net worth of Kohli, Dhoni and Tendulkar pales in comparison to an almost unknown top class cricketer from Baroda State. A state that produced former Indian cricketers like Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan, is home to India’s richest Indian cricketer – Samarjitsingh Ranjitsinh Gaekwad, who reported a net worth of over Rs 20,000 crore .
He is the only son of Ranjitsinh Pratapsinh Gaekwad and Shubhangini Raje. Samarjitsinh turned out in six first class for Baroda between season 1987-88 and 1988-89. He also became a cricket administrator after his retirement and was president of the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA).
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Samarjitsingh Gaekwad became one of the world’s richest cricketers overnight, when the Gaekwads of Baroda settled a 23-year-old inheritance dispute worth over £3 billion in 2013, or about Rs 20,000 crore. The Maharaja of Baroda was once the ruler of one of India’s most powerful princely states, with his own army and navy which he controlled from Laxmi Vilas Palace, a large estate said to be four times the size of the Buckingham Palace and situated on 600 acres. with its own golf course as well.
It’s no wonder that Samarjitsinh is also a more than capable golfer. The estimated £3billion estate, however, had been in dispute since shortly after Maharaja Fetehsinghrao Gaekwad’s death in 1988. His younger brother Ranjitsinh succeeded him, but another brother Sangramsinh said family tradition meant he had right to half a share of the estate.
“Their mother disowned him after initiating her lawsuit, but negotiations to settle the 23-year-old’s dispute were initiated by Ranjtsinh’s heir, Maharaja Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, shortly after his coronation last year,” he said. reported the British newspaper The Telegraph.
Under the agreement, Maharaja Samarjitsinh Gaekwad retained Laxmi Vilas Palace and the lion’s share of the estate, including most of its jewelry and a collection of valuable paintings by 19th-century Indian painter Raja Ravi Verma.
His uncle Sangramsinh Gaekwad, who lives in Mumbai, was given the Nazarbag Palace in Baroda, a number of bungalows and land in the city, a house in Mumbai, and control of the family’s investment and textile businesses. More than 20 other relatives, including five sisters of the late Ranjitsinh, received a share of the jewelry, artwork and other valuables.
Samarjitsinh Gaekwad is married to Radhikaraje
Since 2002, Samarjitsinh Gaekwad has been married to Radhikaraje, a royal lady from Wankaner State and the couple have two daughters together. Samarjitsinh along with his family along with Shubhangiraje are the current residents of Laxmi Vilas Palace in Baroda.
Radhikaraje Gaekwad is a former journalist, who also worked briefly for the Indian Express newspaper, where she worked for three years before her marriage. She also has a verified Instagram account with over 1.34 lakh followers.
What is the net worth of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar?
Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar may have retired from cricket more than a decade ago but according to the report, he has a net worth of over Rs 1,300 crore. Tendulkar has many business interests and earned around Rs 50 crore in 2022 from his investments and endorsements, according to the Economic Times newspaper.
According to the report, the net worth of Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni is around Rs 1,050 crore. Dhoni recently launched a new Tamil movie – LGM (Let’s Get Married) – under the banner of his company “Dhoni Entertainment”. Dhoni is also the biggest withholding tax payer in Jharkhand state last year.
Kohli also has a net worth of around Rs 1,040 crore, earning around Rs 15 crore from the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) franchise in IPL. Kohli gets Rs 15 lakh per Test match, Rs 6 lakh for each ODI and Rs 3 lakh for playing a T20I. Not to mention, Kohli has an ‘A+’ contract with the Board for Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which gives him Rs 7 crore per annum.