Thanks to the bonanza offered by the Lalit Modi-led Indian Premier League (IPL), which was launched in April and May this year, seven cricketers are in the top 50 sport earners list.
Australian cricketers Ricky Ponting (3.05 million dollars) and Brett Lee (2.5 million dollars) lead the way.
But with fringe Australian players like David Hussey and Cameron White just missing out, list compiler John Stensholt predicts Aussie cricketers will be the big movers in the near future.
“Expect to see a few more cricketers in the list next year. IPL is changing the way cricketers think about earning money,” The Age quoted Stensholt, as saying.
Golfer Greg Norman tops the BRW list of top 50 sport earners. In an outrageous 12-months that saw him settle the mother of all divorces, marry a new flame and rise from the ashes to almost steal the British Open, the Shark still managed to earn double the amount of second place-getter Harry Kewell.
Unlike the 14 other golfers on the top 50 list compiled by BRW, Norman earns most of his money off the course through his business empire and a thriving golf course design company.
The half a million he won for finishing third in this year’s British Open was just a drop in the water compared to his 20.9 million dollars in yearly earnings.
Motor sport had 10 representatives, led by super-cross champion Chad Reed (8.7 million dollars), Formula One’s Mark Webber (8.5 million dollars) and super bike rider Mat Mladin (6.5 million dollars).
Golfers Katherine Hull (1.2 million dollars) and Karrie Webb (1.1 million dollars) were the only women to make the list.