With marriage to Sakshi Singh Rawat, Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has become richer by $US42 million ($48 million). Dhoni has, according to media reports from India, signed the richest marketing deal in the sport’s history, earning him US $ 42 million for over two years.
Dhoni, 29, has signed up with an Indian sports management company Rhiti, which will handle his endorsements, merchandise, corporate profile, patents and digital rights, as well as visibility on social networking sites.
“We have entered into a two-year contract with Dhoni for 2000 million rupees ($48 million),” Rhiti general manager Sanjay Pandey told newsmen.
“We signed the contract a week back. From now onwards we will be handling Dhoni’s endorsements.”
The deal, the richest in Indian cricket history, surpasses batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar’s $US40 million ($45.62 million) three-year contract with sports management firm Iconix in 2006.
Dhoni, often described as India’s most eligible bachelor, married childhood sweetheart and hotel management student Sakshi Singh Rawat at a private ceremony outside the northern town of Dehra Dun last week.
Dhoni is reported to currently endorse 22 leading brands, including Pepsi, Reebok, Aircel, Godrej and Hersheys.
A Forbes study last year on the world’s richest cricketers put him at the top with an annual earning of $US10 million ($11.4 million), followed by Tendulkar at $US8 million ($9.12 million).
Two other Indian cricketers, Yuvraj Singh ($6.27 million) and Rahul Dravid ($5.7 million), were ranked third and fourth, while England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was in fifth place with ($4.56 million), Forbes said.
Australian Test captain Ricky Ponting was in sixth place with ($3.99 million) a year, the magazine said, adding the figures included club and national team salaries and commercial endorsements.With