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I’ve started to look at salaries for various players and for specific competitions. In this round up, I’ll outline the income of some top Australian cricketers.
Who is the Highest Paid Australian Cricketer?
Pat Cummins is currently the highest paid Australian cricketer. The team’s skipper is paid a salary of $2 million per calendar year.
Included in those figures is a captain’s bonus which is worth $200k.
Highest Paid Australian Cricketers
Pat Cummins – $2 million (incl. captain’s bonus of $200k)
We’ve just seen that Pat Cummins is Australia’s highest paid cricketer right now. As the captain of the national team, that’s not surprising, but he would still be at the top if he were to lose that skipper’s bonus.
Cummins is a highly valued fast bowler who is effective in all forms of the game and he’s a worthy recipient of the highest numbers.
Josh Hazlewood – $1.6 million
One of Pat Cummins’ strike partners slots into second place on this list. Josh Hazlewood forms part of a battery of world class fast bowlers and his talent is rewarded with a salary of $1.6 million.
Hazlewood plays in all three formats for the country and has a solid record in each. He should pass 400 international wickets in Australia’s 2022/23 season, and he has plenty more to offer the set up.
David Warner – $1.5 million
A powerful opening batter in all forms of the game, David Warner is clearly highly valued by Australia. He’s a first choice in each of those three formats and he keeps churning out the runs at the top of the order.
Warner supplements his income via the IPL and other franchise cricket, and that boosts his considerable Cricket Australia salary of $1.5 million.
Mitchell Starc – $1.4 million
Mitchell Starc is the third member of Australia’s regular pace attack. Injuries have led to him managing his workload in recent years, but he’s still paid highly with a salary of $1.4 million.
He’s closing in on 600 international wickets and, while Mitchell Starc may not feature in all three formats moving forward, he’s proved his worth to the team.
Steve Smith – $1.3 million
Former skipper Steve Smith was stripped of the captaincy in 2018, but his involvement in ‘Sandpaper Gate’ hasn’t seen his value diminish. He’s paid $1.3 million by Cricket Australia and that figure represents his value to the test team.
Smith’s figures may be slightly lower than some of his team mates as he doesn’t feature in white ball cricket so much. His focus is on tests, but those remain impressive numbers.
Marnus Labuschagne – $1.2 million
Marnus Labuschagne also focuses on test cricket where he is one of the best batters in the game. He was the number one ranked test batter for a time, but his lack of involvement in white ball cricket may have kept his salary down.
As with all of Australia’s most important test players, Labuschagne’s salary remains a healthy one at $1.2 million.
Nathan Lyon – $1.1 million
Nathan Lyon has been Australia’s most successful spinner since the retirement of Shane Warne. He’s passed 400 test wickets and has been the first choice in the red ball team for some time.
Like others, he doesn’t feature in ODIs or T20is and that may be keeping his salary down to a slightly lower sum of $1.1 million.
How are these salaries made up? There is a fee structure set out by Cricket Australia which underlines how payments are made via central contracts and other methods.
There is firstly a retainer fee for all those who are centrally contracted. This ensures that their first commitment is to the national side.
For 2021/22, it was confirmed that there would be a reduction in payments of around 25% to 30% due to the Covid pandemic.
Central Contract of Australia
Central contracts are paid to test players and limited overs cricketers so there are two separate lists. For the top earners, the retainer can exceed $500,000 while an average figure may come in at $250,000.
In the limited overs squad, former skipper Aaron Finch tops the list with a retainer fee of $750,000.
Players can boost their earnings via match fees. This means that a player who is called up from outside of the centrally contracted names can also be rewarded.
For the 2021/22 season, the match fee for ODIs was $15,000. For T20is it was $10,000 and for test matches the fee was $20,000.
There are no great surprises on this list and all of the top names in Australian cricket are here. The likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins have been important members of the test team for some time and they are clearly well rewarded for their efforts.
It’s been interesting to note some of the differences between salaries as we work through the list. Those who are involved in all three formats tend to earn more than players who are just involved in the test squad.
Overall, it also underlines the supreme earning potential of those cricketers who are at the top of their game.