If you wondered why tickets to the Ashes series this summer were so expensive, perhaps BRW’s annual Top 50 sports earners list provides some insight: 11 cricketers made the list, beating golf and soccer, with 10 each. That makes cricket the nation’s most lucrative sport – although that’s topped up largely by the financial windfall that is India’s Premier League, where even “retired” cricketer Adam Gilchrist managed to make the list with a $1.5m contract, alongside Brett Lee and Cameron White.
Between them, the 50 sportspeople took home $158 million, and men dominated the ranks, with only two women, tennis player Samantha Stosur, $1.8m, and surfer Stephanie Gilmour, $1.5m, making the cut.
Topping the list was 29-year-old US NBA basketballer Andrew Bogut, who trousered a cool $16 million, having just extended his $44 million contract, with golfer Adam Scott close behind on $15.5m.
By retiring from F1 at the end of last year, Mark Webber will undoubtedly lose 3rd place, as well as his $10 million pay packet.
The other top 10 places were shared between cricket, golf and basketball, with Shane “Watto” Watson the best paid cricket at $6m, just ahead of his captain Michael Clarke, $5.5 million, retired former captain Ricky Pointing obviously feels better on cash, with $2m to his name.
There’s one surprise in the top 50 list. Jeff Rossiter made $4 million playing poker to come equal 10th. So next time you have the lads around on a Friday night for a game in the garage, just tell the wife you’re playing sport.
1. Andrew Bogut. Basketball. $16m
2. Adam Scott. Golf. $15.5m
3. Mark Webber. Motor sports. $10m
4. Jason Day. Golf. $7.5m
5. Kyrie Irving. Basketball. $6.5m
6. Shane Watson. Cricket. $6m
7. Michael Clarke. Cricket $5.5m
8. Luke Wilkshire. Soccer. $5m
9. Grant Balfour. Baseball. $5m
10. Tim Cahill. Soccer. $4m
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