MUMBAI: Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has been ranked 11th in the world in ESPN’s annual survey known as ‘World Fame 100’. Star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list overall.
Kohli has a social media following of 36.9 million people and earns $17.4 million in endorsements. No other Indian is ahead of him in any of these categories. His predecessor, MS Dhoni comes second amongst Indians and is ranked 20th in the list despite only playing the shorter formats of cricket.
When it comes to Indian sportsmen, cricketers continue to rule the roost as Rohit Sharma is third and 30th overall. In a surprise, Suresh Raina is the fourth highest ranked Indian and 41st even though he hasn’t featured in a Test match for India over 4 years and has been irregular in the Indian ODI and T20 teams. Yuvraj Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan are the other cricketers to find a place on the list.
South African batsman AB de Villiers, who called it quits from international cricket on Thursday, is incidentally ranked 99th on the list and is the only overseas cricketer to find a mention.
To compile its ranking, ESPN takes into account 100 top sportspersons of the world who are most likely to be searched on the internet via Google Trends (also known as search score), have a strong social media following and the amount they earn from endorsements (based on numbers taken from Forbes).
These numbers are compiled by ESPN’s Sports Analytics Group for athletes across 67 countries.