It’s frequently said that the Big Bash League in Australia is second to the IPL in terms of prestige. Do the salaries in the BBL back up that theory?
Who is the Highest Paid BBL Player?
The highest paid player in the history of the BBL is D’Arcy Short. At one point, the player was paid $258,900 for his services across the 2021/22 season.
Short is a regular in the Big Bash League and that highest salary was paid by his current team, the Hobart Hurricanes.
Highest-Paid BBL Players
D’Arcy Short – $258,900
The name at the top of this list might have caused a surprise. D’Arcy Short has played for Australia but was never a regular in canary yellow. He was, however, the player of the Big Bash League in 2017/18 and that’s a clue to why he receives such a large salary.
Short can also deliver some useful left arm wrist spin and he’s an exceptional fielder. Having previously topped the BBL run charts, he’s mostly in for his batting, but he can make an impact as an all-rounder.
Andrew Tye – $246,800
With his variations, seam bowler A.J. Tye has been in demand across the world. He’s featured in various franchise cricket leagues and is clearly highly thought of in the BBL where he’s been paid the second highest salary to date.
Tye has more than 100 Big Bash wickets and is second on the overall list of leading wicket takers in this competition. It’s no wonder that he commands such an impressive salary of $246,800.
Marcus Stoinis – $227,900
Marcus Stoinis is an international class all rounder. However, he doesn’t feature too much for the Australian test side, so he is available for much of the Big Bash season. He’s primarily a scorer of quick runs in the middle and death overs and that’s why his Melbourne Stars franchise are happy to have paid a salary of $227,900.
Stoinis is mainly known as a batter, but he can also do a useful job as a sixth bowler.
Chris Lynn – $202,000
One of the most devastating batters in the competition, Chris Lynn is purely there to score quickly in the Powerplay. He hasn’t quite made the same impression in other franchise leagues, but he’s been highly successful in the BBL and that’s why Brisbane Heat have paid him a salary of $202,000.
At the end of the 2021/22 Big Bash season, Lynn passed 3,000 runs and that makes him the highest run scorer in the competition’s history.
Joe Root – $200,000
Former England test skipper Joe Root isn’t a typical T20 batter. He’s seen more as a patient accumulator of runs and that’s probably why he hasn’t played much franchise cricket.
He can, however, be highly effective in this form of the game. He can rebuild an innings if there are early wickets and he can also score quickly when the situation demands it. Sydney Thunder saw these qualities and that’s why they were happy to pay Joe Root a salary of $200,000.
Alex Carey – $199,600
Alex Carey has been elevated to Australia’s first choice wicket keeping role, so we may not see so much of him in future BBL seasons. He is an exceptional gloveman who scores quick runs and can make big contributions with the bat.
He’s spent his entire BBL career with Adelaide Strikers and he’s now highly rewarded with a salary of $199,600.
Rashid Khan – $198,800
Afghanistan’s leg spinning sensation Rashid Khan draws a big salary wherever he goes. He’s been involved in the Indian Premier League since 2017 and he’s closing in on 100 wickets in this competition.
Rashid is paid a salary of $198,000 by the Adelaide Strikers and that makes him the highest earnin overseas player in the competition.
Ashton Agar – $197,900
Ashton Agar made an impression on his test debut, but he’s far more effective in one day cricket where he remains an Australian regular.
Agar is another player who has made major contributions to Perth Scorchers’ success, and he’s been handsomely rewarded with a salary of $197,900.
Nathan Lyon – $195,600
Off spinner Nathan Lyon frequently misses part of the tournament due to his commitments with the Australian national team. Despite that, he’s still one of the biggest earners in the BBL.
Lyon plays for the Sydney Sixers and will tend to join up in the latter stages of the tournament when the home test series has finished. While his availability may be limited, the Sixers are still prepared to part with a salary of $195,600 for his services.
BBL Salary Cap
Cricket Australia imposes a salary cap on teams. It’s designed to keep more money within the sport and that’s why these figures might be lower than other leagues. It’s an ongoing subject for discussion and there are talks to increase the cap or possibly even dispense with it altogether.
The overall figures stood at $20 million in the 2021/22 season, but there is a suggestion that this could increase to $36 million moving forward. The players on this list would be better rewarded as a result, while the BBL would also aim to bring in more top quality overseas talent.
It’s worth remembering that most established Australian internationals rarely feature in the IPL. The tournament coincides with major test matches and ODIs and that’s why the likes of David Warner and Steve Smith are absent.
The remaining names tend to fit a profile as effective players who are on the fringes of the national set up. Moving forward, it will be fascinating to see if the salary cap is lifted and if these numbers increase significantly for future Big Bash Leagues.