Michael Clarke, Australia’s national cricket captain set to earn up to $6 million per year from cricket’s new TV rights deal.
Michael Clarke is the $6 million man thanks to a bold half-billion dollar television deal finalised with Channels Nine and Ten on Monday.
The national cricket captain becomes Australia’s highest paid sports star based in this country, earning more than an entire NRL playing roster.
Nine will keep international cricket after finding $400 million over five years while Ten will pay $100 million for the Big Bash across the same period, creating a war chest for Cricket Australia to take on the AFL and NRL.
Cricket Australia also receives $500 million in media rights from other sources including India, England, Champions League T20 and International Cricket Council television dividends.
So complex was the new television deal, which forced Nine to pay over the odds to ensure its 36-year association with cricket, that the network and Cricket Australia signed off just 50 minutes before Monday’s 5pm deadline to match Ten’s audacious bid.
This puts cricket in the big boys club of Australian sport alongside the AFL and NRL following their billion dollar television deals over the past two years.
Clarke will earn about $2.5 million from Cricket Australia this year, with personal sponsorships, endorsements and the IPL more than doubling his income.
A dozen Australian cricketers now earn more than $1 million a year with the minimum contract for the top 20 players $235,000 plus six figure tour fees.
In Australia, players receive $14,000 per Test, $5,600 a one-day match and $4,200 for a Twenty20 international. Even modest state cricketers who play in the Big Bash can earn more than $100,000 a year.
Cricket is now primed to redouble its pursuit of the best teenage athletes in the country, a battle it has been losing to the AFL in particular over the past two decades.
The revamped eight-team Big Bash, with its free-to-air exposure, will be a central plank in highlighting career paths for young players which could land them lucrative Indian Premier League Twenty20 contracts even before they play for Australia.
CA believes it has clawed back some ground on the football codes, with the major bonus keeping former Australian under-19 captain Mitchell Marsh when he was being scouted by AFL clubs.
The highly talented all-rounder scored 39 from just 19 balls during a Champions Trophy warm-up match against the West Indies in Cardiff on Saturday night.
Cricket Australia has already fired its first shot in pursuit of the best by more than doubling the amount what it pays the highly successful women’s team, meaning the best female cricketers in the country can earn $70,000 to $80,000 a year
An increase in girls and young women playing has seen cricket’s grassroots participation leap to 950,000, with a target of 1.2 million within two years.
This also includes an increasing number of migrants from diverse backgrounds.
CA is using special marketing contracts to connect with Australia’s south Asian population, awarding them to Pakistani refugee Fawad Ahmed and New South Wales bowler Gurinder Sandhu. Born in Blacktown to Indian parents, Sandhu is the first player of Indian heritage to represent New South Wales.
Article by Fox Sports Austrailia
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