Melbourne:Michael Clarke has replaced his skipper Ricky Ponting as the highest earning cricketer in the Australian team according to an estimate, which puts his salary to $1.01 million.
The calculations are based on 12 months of estimated earnings from December 1, 2007.
Last year, Ponting had emerged as the highest paid cricketer.
But it was only Clarke's workload that steered him ahead of Ponting, who is closely chasing him at USD 992,280 for the year. Clarke featured in 36 out of 37 games Australia played.
Only Mike Hussey played all the games, and USD 329,970 in match fees saw his payday get past Brett Lee, a man believed to be the number two rank but not so due to less number of matches.
According to 'Daily Telegraph', base salaries of the top 25 contracted Australian cricketers start at USD 160,000 and end with Ponting at a sum believed to be USD 800,000.
"The base salaries drop at intervals of approximately USD 50,000 according to rankings, and men who play in all forms of the game occupy the top tier," the newspaper said.
"On top of this, players are paid match fees that can boost their wage by more than USD 300,000 a year if they play the majority of Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20 games. A Test is worth USD 12,750 and 50/20-over cricket pays USD 5100 --and both attract overseas loading."
According to the report, most top Aussie batsmen pocket somewhere between USD 600 and USD 700 a run. Because of his workload, Hussey represents best value, costing CA only USD 619 for every run.
The West Australian has also come 'cheap' at an estimated USD 11,010 a day for 89 days of play. Only rising quick Mitchell Johnson came cheaper at USD 9577 a day.
Top-five-ranked batsman Matthew Hayden's lack of cricket through injury this year saw him earn in the vicinity of USD 775 a run, and USD 14,129 a day.
On the bowling front, Lee and Johnson earned USD 10,047 and USD 10,055 per wicket respectively for their great years of 95 and 80 wickets. With fewer games, seamer Stuart Clark returned a wicket for every USD 30,857 of his estimated earnings.
Troubled all-rounder Andrew Symonds had offered to lose USD 250,000 of his salary to do fewer promotions this year, but he'd still likely pocket over USD 500,000.
Symonds' value dipped when he missed the Indian tour but he still earns a cheap USD 317 a run but an expensive USD 24,215 a wicket.