Ten Most Charitable Cricketers | From Imran Khan To Steve Wagh, Each Follow Philanthropy In his Own Way

For many decades, Crcikerters saw promoting campaigns for underprivileged people. From on or off the field, their philanthropist nature stands them out among others. There are notable cricketers who dedicated their life to charity following their retirement from cricket. Cricketers founded their own foundations to sponsor medical research. We have seen cricketers raising funds for building shelters for homeless people. They helped NGOs to build a better life if not for all than some of them. Here are the ten Most Charitable Cricketers.

Most Charitable Cricketers

Only playing cricket can make a cricketer legend, but their unconditional supports for common people make them icons. Because of their philanthropist work, Steve Waugh was regarded as Australian of the Year in 2004 while Ian Botham was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2007 for his service to the country.

There are cricketers who do charity occasionally, but only a few cricketing greats dedicated their life to global causes. Let’s take a look at their profiles:

10). Brett Lee – Mewsic

Brett Lee’s foundation believes music is a powerful tool to unlock the potential in children. We all know Brett’s love for music. He once said “if you took cricket out of my life, I’d be sad. But if you took music out of my life, I’d be devastated.”

But, what is lesser known about this handsome cricketer is his love for children. We know Brett Lee’s nickname is Binga derived from an inspiring story of a small, yellow, fuzzy cat. Brett Lee transformed his love for music into a charity for stranded children.  To make Mewsic widely recognized and used as a powerful tool to HEAL, EDUCATE, EMPOWER and ADVOCATE for underprivileged children in India.

9). Yuvraj Singh – “YouWeCan”

At one point, it seemed like Yuvraj Singh could do no wrong. He was at the peak of his powers. He was the man of the tournament in the 2011 World Cup. Four years back, he was red-hot in India’s 2007 World T20 triumph.

However, when he was diagnosed with cancer, everything fell away. The star all-rounder fought hard and defeated the life-threatening disease but he was never the same post that. The Punjab-born cricketer stayed away from the game for more than a year before making a return in September 2012.

However, after his battle with cancer, Yuvraj along with his mother started a foundation named YouWeCan. The mission of this was to spread awareness about cancer. There’s a YouWeCan fashion brand as well. The money raised by it goes to the YouWeCan charity.

8). Sachin Tendulkar – Apnalaya

Perhaps, one of the greatest batsmen of all time, Sachin Tendulkar played the game for 24 years. No player has had such a long international career and the ups and downs have been quite a lot for Tendulkar. Hence, there’s a lot that Mumbaikar has learned throughout his career.

For quite some time now, Tendulkar has been a big believer in giving back to society. Every year, he takes responsibility for the education of more than 200 underprivileged children through Apnalaya, an NGO that is very close to his mother-in-law. Tendulkar has also helped a couple of villages undergo massive transformations in terms of electricity, water, and sewage.

The master blaster helped the ‘Support My School’ campaign raise Rs 13.6 crore towards the revitalization of 272 schools across India. He has also helped raise funds for more than 300 kids in their treatment of cancer.

7). Muttiah Muralitharan, Foundation of Goodness

800 wickets in Test cricket, 534 in ODI cricket, and 18 in T20Is, we have only seen Muttiah Muralitharan bamboozle batsmen and pick wickets in his career. No other bowler has more wickets than him in either Tests or ODIs or international cricket on the whole. Hence, Muralitharan finished as statistically the best bowler to have ever played the game.

However, the former Sri Lankan spin wizard has also contributed and did his part by contributing and giving back to society. Right from his playing days, he was involved in charity. He established the Foundation of Goodness in a village named Seenigama in the early 2000s. The foundation helps people in education, health care, housing, livelihood, and other related things.

When the tsunami hit the shores of Sri Lanka, Muralitharan did his best to help people. He helped people get food regularly. He is also an ambassador for the United Nations’ World Food Programme.

6). Ricky Ponting

The Ponting Foundation is yet another effort by a cricketer to help families beat cancer. It was in 2002 a good friend of the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA) invited the Pontings to visit the Sydney Children’s Hospital and meet the many children and their families in the oncology ward.

The stories that they heard in the oncology ward rocked the Pontings who sat tearfully outside the hospital and made a commitment to improving the lives of young Australians with cancer and their families. The Ponting Foundation as a result of that commitment.

5). Shahid Afridi – Hope Not Out

We often remember Shahid Afridi for his multiple U-turns from retirement. The star Pakistan all-rounder played 99 T20 internationals and 398 ODIs in addition to 28 Test matches. He has been a pretty big influencer in Pakistan cricket.

However, very few people know about the other side of Afridi. He has always been up for charity and also runs Shahid Afridi Foundation back in Pakistan. The former all-rounder started the organization in 2014 to help people with basic healthcare and education in Pakistan.

There’s a maternity hospital in Tangi Banda, Kohat which caters needs of the patients with free treatment, medicines, and care. Recently, the foundation was also raising awareness of illiteracy.

4). Ian Botham – The Beefy’s Charity Foundation

Ian Botham is often remembered for his cricketing achievements, for the knighthood he obtained in 2007, and for all his contributions to England cricket. However, he is also one of the most charitable cricketers in the world.

The former England all-rounder has built and contributed to charity through long-distance charity walks. To date, he has led 12 such walks. He first started out in 1985 with a 900-mile trek from John o’ Groats to Land’s End. Hence, Botham has been pretty active in such activities. He has raised £12 million from charity and hence, leukemia research has benefitted the most.

In fact, in 2003, he became the president of Leukemia Research, one of the UK’s leading blood cancer charities. Hence, it was his efforts in charity as well as cricket that got him the knighthood and not only the latter.

3). Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh is perhaps one of the best Australian captains to have ever played the game. Not only as captain, but Waugh also did well with the bat too. He was among the top batsmen during his time. Be it Tests or ODIs, the older Waugh brother was at the top of his game most of the time.

His illustrious career lasted for nearly two decades. However, when he met Mother Teresa, his perspective of life changed. He believed a lot in giving back to society and contributing to noble causes. Waugh has helped leprosy patients in Kolkata in the past.

At the moment, he runs the Steve Waugh Foundation. The organization strives to help children and families affected by rare diseases. The official website defines a rare disease as, “The rare disease patient is the orphan of the health system, often without diagnosis, without treatment, and therefore, without reason to hope.”

2). Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath is arguably the greatest fast bowler Australia has ever produced. He long held the record for most wickets (563) by a fast bowler in Test cricket before James Anderson broke it last year. He did well in white-ball cricket too and was the flag-bearer of Australia’s formidable bowling attack through the late 1990s and 2000s.

The New South Wales pacer bid adieu to the game in 2007. However, even before he retired, McGrath had started the McGrath Foundation. It was formed as a support for breast cancer and its education in Australia. McGrath’s wife Jane had been diagnosed with the same in the early 2000s. She got treatment but was re-diagnosed in 2003. Hence, that led to the creation of the organization in 2005.

Jane died in June 2008 and since then McGrath has been an active participant in working with the organization and raising funds all around Australia for cancer patients. They try to provide the best facilities for breast cancer patients and try to educate them on the same as well

1). Imran Khan – IKF

Imran Khan is the Prime Minister of Pakistan today. He was one of the greatest all-rounders the game has ever seen. He was Pakistan’s heroin in 1992 when he led his country to their maiden World Cup title. However, it is a little-known fact that Imran Khan is one of the most charitable cricketers.

The former Pakistan captain built Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust in the memory of his late mother. He visioned providing medical care to the poor and needy. In fact, his organization raised a fund of $25 million dollars which helped him contribute to building the country’s first-ever charitable cancer hospital.

That’s not all. Imran Khan also started a technical college in Mianwali District which is named Namal. It strives in providing a large percentage of its students with financial aid. In fact, this college is affiliated with the University of Bedfordshire (UK).


The Top 10 charitable cricketers in the world are:

  1. Imran Khan
  2. Glenn Mcgrath
  3. Steve Waugh
  4. Ian Botham
  5. Shahid Afridi
  6. Ricky Ponting
  7. Muttiah Muralitharan
  8. Sachin Tendulkar
  9. Yuvraj Singh
  10. Bret Lee

There are many other cricketers who can join the list but these personalities change the life of many and continue to do so. They make the change that society needed.