Before the multi-crore contracts, garages packed with supercars and Bollywood biopics, these star cricketers had to battle real poverty and one-in-a-million odds of being a top international sportsman.
Years later, the Jamaican superstar takes home a nine-figure salary (almost 50 crores per annum), parties like a playboy and hits even the good balls for sixes with Herculean strength.
Sometimes though, the swag and the cockiness that comes from beating all odds gets him into trouble. During this year’s Big Bash League, Gayle couldn’t help but ask a reporter out on a date on national television and was fined Australian $ 10,000 for ‘inappropriate conduct.’
The riches didn’t come in until he was selected for the Indian team (he was out for a first-ball duck at his debut) after grinding out five seasons on the domestic circuit. Dhoni spent this time having an ‘it doesn’t matter’ approach towards selectors and focused on fine-tuning his batting and wicket-keeping skills. With his entry, India finally found a stable wicket-keeper batsman after years of confusion (mostly, it was Rahul Dravid who had to man the gloves) resulting from Nayan Mongia’s retirement.
Today, MS Dhoni sits atop a $31 million empire and is the 23rd richest athlete in the world. More importantly, he’s won every major ICC trophy for India. With such a solid resume, Dhoni doesn’t just make us look bad, he makes others in this list seem like underachievers.