Watson is the highest earning Australian cricketer

All-rounder Shane Watson, who is racing against time to get fit for the Test series against India, is the highest earning Australian cricketer ahead of captain Michael Clarke and Ricky Pointing.

The Business Review Weekly magazine reported that Australian cricket might be at its all-time low in nearly 30 years but cricketers are getting richer more than ever before.

The number of cricketers in the Business Review Weekly annual list have doubled from five to 10 this year.

Watson is the highest ranked cricketer in 11th spot, with a USD 4 million annual contract with Cricket Australia (CA) and an additional USD 1.8 million deal with the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Rajasthan Royals.

Skipper Clarke and his predecessor Ricky Ponting are equal 16th on the rich list, each earning USD 3.5 million a year though they don't have a contract with an IPL team.

The list of top-50 highest earning sportspersons is headed by basketball star Andrew Bogut, who earns USD 13 million a year. Bogut becomes the first basketballer to top the list.

Last year's top earner, Formula One driver Mark Webber fell to the third spot despite a strong season in which he finished third overall behind Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel with two Grand Prix victories.

The top-five is dominated by motorpsorts. Ahead of Webber (USD 9 million) in the second place is MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner (USD 9.5 million) while motocross star Chad Reed (USD 8.5 million) is fourth.

Cyclist Cadel Evans with a historic Tour de France victory broke into the top five with USD 5 million in earnings.

Socceroos star Tim Cahill with an earning USD 4.5 million was the highest-ranked footballer at the No. 9 spot.

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