New York: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has topped the list of world`s 10 top earning cricketers compiled by Forbes, which also features four other players from the sub-continent, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.
Raking in USD 10 million, Dhoni is at the top of the chart followed by Tendulkar at the second spot with earnings worth USD 8 million in the list of `The World`s Top-Earning Cricketers`.
While Singh and Dravid are at the third and fourth spot, respectively, Ganguly and Australian cricketer Ricky Ponting share the sixth place. "Paycheck figures include club and national team salaries and commercial endorsement income over the last 12 months," Forbes said.
According to the magazine, Singh earned USD 5.5 million while Dravid and Ganguly raked in USD 5 million and USD 3.5 million, respectively. Ponting also earned USD 3.5 million. "With its deep-pocketed owners and global appeal, nine of the 10 highest-paid cricket players call the Indian Premier League (IPL) home, the publication added.
At the fifth spot is England`s Andrew Flintoff with earnings of USD 4 million followed by Australia`s Brett Lee and English cricketer Kevin Pietersen, both at eighth place, and Australian Michael Clarke is ranked tenth.
While Lee and Pietersen raked in USD 3 million each, Clarke earned USD 2.5 million. "Take Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who plays for the Chennai Super Kings and tops our list as cricket`s first USD 10 million-a-year man (that`s USD 5,426 for each run scored).”
"His USD 8 million in endorsements, from the likes of Reebok, General Electric and Pepsi, is 45 per cent more than any other player. Among all Indian athletes and entertainers, Dhoni`s 17 corporate sponsors is second to only Bollywood star and co- owner of the Knight Riders, Shah Rukh Khan," Forbes said.
About Tendulkar, the magazine said the holder of numerous offensive records, is considered among the greatest batsman in cricket history. "... he`s one of five IPL players who have been bestowed `icon` status, meaning he automatically receives a paycheck 15 per cent larger than his highest paid teammate.
"Tendulkar`s USD 1.1 million salary from the Mumbai Indians helped push his total earnings to USD 8 million over the last 12 months," it added.