Fast bowler Pat Cummins’ record-breaking $3.2 million deal with the Kolkata Knight Riders for the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) season will need to be complemented with some off-field investments if he’s to join fellow cricketers Michael Clarke and Steve Smith on the Financial Review Young Rich List.
The contract secured by this year’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket is nearly triple what Cummins got from the Mumbai Indians for the 2018 IPL (a season curtailed by a back injury), and comfortably more than the previous record for an international star in the competition, the $3 million that Rajasthan Royals outlaid for English all-rounder Ben Stokes in 2017.
The $3.2 million Cummins will receive for two months’ on-field work equates to almost $10,000 a ball, assuming Cummins bowls four overs in his team’s 14 regular season matches. It eclipses the $2.5 million apiece pocketed by batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner, who were retained by the Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.
These windfalls are in addition to Cricket Australia contracts worth around $1.5 million annually for each of the trio.
However, the 26-year-old star paceman and reigning Allan Border Medallist is a way off being a serious contender for the Financial Review Young Rich List, a ranking of the 100 wealthiest self-made Australians aged 40 and under, as Smith (30) and Warner (33) are.
A search of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission database reveals Cummins is not a director of any companies.
It was Smith’s investment company, SS415 (named for his Test cap number), that propelled him on to the 2019 Young Rich List, when it was revealed that a $100,000 investment he made in online mattress retailer Koala in 2015 was now worth $12.2 million on paper.
Smith was valued at $31 million to rank 95th on the List, which had a 2019 cut-off of $28 million.
Warner has also dabbled in venture capital, backing a Millennial-focused financial planning start-up called Bamboo, and alcohol brand 666 Vodka, but as yet without any of Smith’s outsized success.
Warner’s wealth, which our research team estimated at $20 million, is concentrated in property. He and former ironwoman wife Candice own five properties in Maroubra, the Sydney beachside suburb where the big hitter grew up, with a combined value north of $10 million.
Smith does one better in the property arena, too, with six titles to his name, including three on the trendy Balmain peninsula, valued at a total of $11 million by the Rich List research team.
Cummins, meanwhile, owns an apartment in Clovelly and a property in Moss Vale, in the Southern Highlands, which in a paid spot in April for real estate portal Domain (partially owned by Nine, owner of The Australian Financial Review) he revealed he’d like to do more with when he “finished cricket”.
Cummins’ property portfolio might only be worth about $3 million, but it is in Domain-like endorsement deals where the bowler may gain a wealth edge over his two Australian teammates.
Their reputations are still recovering from the ball-tampering incident in South Africa in 2018, which also saw them forego a year of playing income as they served out bans, although Smith’s appears to be healing faster than Warner’s – the former captain is also now a Domain ambassador.
Cummins earned about $200,000 from endorsements in 2018-19, from brands including Gillette, but his hot form means that will likely rise this year.
The paceman could also do with a few more lucrative IPL contracts to catch the cricketing king of the Young Rich List, 38-year-old former captain Michael Clarke.
Still an enthusiastic product endorser (including, controversially, of initial coin offerings), Clarke put most of his playing days’ pay into property. His eight-title portfolio, including a Vaucluse mansion, was valued at $38 million by the Young Rich List researchers, and his total wealth of $42 million ranked him 71st.