Sep 21, 2023
Sep 21, 2023
The Royal Pitch of Cricket’s Unlikely Wealthiest Player
Who, in the realm of cricket, would you assume carries the title of the richest player? Would it be Sachin Tendulkar, whose cricketing prowess enthralled a nation and made him a global icon? Or perhaps Virat Kohli, the modern era's poster boy with his prolific batting and substantial endorsement deals? Could it be the Captain Cool MS Dhoni, whose inspiring journey from the small town of Ranchi to captaining the Indian team has touched millions? Or is it someone far from the star-studded and lucrative glare of the Indian Premier League?
Prepare to be bowled over. Meet Samarjitsinh Ranjitsinh Gaekwad, the unexpected titleholder of the richest cricketer ever to grace the pitch. No, he didn't amass this fortune from lucrative brand endorsements or a star-studded cricketing career. Instead, he was born into it.
Born on April 25, 1967, Samarjitsinh Gaekwad is not a household name in cricketing circles like Tendulkar or Kohli. His cricketing journey was considerably shorter, confined to just six first-class matches as a top-order batsman representing Baroda in the Ranji Trophy. Still, his tenure as the president of the Baroda Cricket Association signifies his undying love for the game.
But cricket is just one aspect of Gaekwad's life. He is the scion of a regal lineage, the erstwhile king of Baroda in Gujarat. He stepped into his father's shoes in 2012, inheriting properties amounting to over Rs 20,000 crore. These are no ordinary properties. They include the Laxmi Vilas Palace, the world's largest private residence, and a temple trust operating 17 temples across Gujarat and Banaras, Uttar Pradesh.
His personal life reflects his royal lineage as well. His wife, Radhikaraje, comes from the royal family of Wankaner State, adding to the wealth and aristocracy of their union.
Yes, the wealthiest Indian cricketer's fortune was not born out of cricketing prowess. It is an amalgamation of regal inheritance, historic lineage, and an affection for cricket that ties him to the sport.
Yet, this narrative compels us to ask: does wealth redefine success in the world of cricket? Does it overshadow the talent, dedication, and years of relentless training these cricketers invest in their sport? Or does it offer an alternative prism, one that contrasts the journey of a royal and a commoner within the same boundary?
In a world where cricketing success is often associated with the bright lights of fame and substantial paychecks, Gaekwad's story paints a different crease. It reminds us that the world of cricket, much like life itself, is an expansive field where the predictable is often bowled over by the unexpected. And maybe that's what makes it such a captivating spectacle.
And as we wrap this up, it leaves us to ponder – in the grand stadium of life, are we simply players defined by our net worth, or are we more than the sum of our assets? Is wealth the ultimate trophy, or is it the love for the game that truly enriches us? The pitch, dear reader, is yours to contemplate.
More by : P. Mohan Chandran