These athletes generate huge incomes from advertising sponsorship deals, despite professionalism in sports seeing widespread acceptance in the US and Europe it took many years before making its appearance in South African sports.
In this, we reveal who generated the highest incomes to become the wealthiest sports stars in SA. Topping the list is one of the most talented cricketers in South African sports, Jacques Kallis, commonly regarded as the greatest all-round cricket player in recent history, became the first and remains the only player who as a bowler took over 250 wickets and as a batsman scored more than 10,000 runs in both test matches and ODIs.
During 2008 in Wisden, Kallis received recognition as the world’s leading cricketer and also twice received a naming as the ICC’s best players of the year for his performances in 2005 and 2007.
Already an international cricket legend, he further distinguished himself as the highest runs-scorer in South African test cricket history by racking up a total of over 13,000 runs throughout his 166 international career test matches. Accumulating an estimated career net worth of $30 million earns him a place at the top of SA’s list of wealthiest sportsmen.
With cricket taking very a close second to rugby in the heart of South African sports fans, it is hardly surprising cricketers command the top earning positions in local sports. Cricket, by its very nature, allows athletes to continue performing at their peak for many more years than a rugby player would have at his disposal due to the extremely physical nature of the sport.
This also turns top cricketers into household names with fans often showing their support by placing a wager at a top online sportsbook such as MELbet to back their belief in their hero and perhaps make a few extra bucks to pay for a round of beers at the end of the match.
Graeme Smith, former cricket captain of South Africa’s National team and successor to Shaun Pollock, took up his leadership role of the national squad in 2003 at the end of that year’s ICC World Cup competition. During his tenure as captain of SA’s national team, Graeme appeared in 108 international test match dustups, in the process locking down 53 wins to his name to become recognised as the most successful captain in cricket history.
As an opening batsman, he occupied one of the toughest positions on the field yet still proceeded to break numerous records, with many remaining standing to this day. His most remarkable performances as opening batsman saw him score two consecutive double centuries, establish the record for scoring the highest opening partnership in both test matches and ODIs and behind Jacque Kallis become the world’s second highest runs scorer from SA.
In time, he also became the longest-serving team captain and during his career accumulated a net worth of over $20 million, which lands him in the second spot only to Kallis.