Bonus for Bailey in the big cash league

GEORGE Bailey is in the money as well as the runs as news of a major Ashes-winning bonus emerges the day after the Tasmanian batsman guided his team into the lucrative Champions League tournament.

Australia's cricketers have earned a bonus of nearly $1 million for their annihilation of England this summer, and as a key contributor across all three formats and having captained in two, Bailey can be assured of a healthy boost to his bank balance.

This follows the Longford 31-year-old leading the Hobart Hurricanes into the Big Bash League final and with it a berth at the Champions League, where the best T20 teams in the world compete for a share of $US6 million and the winners claim $2.5 million.

Bailey played in all five Test matches as Michael Clarke's team produced a clean sweep in the Ashes series, four of the five one-day internationals which the Aussies won 4-1, and captained the Twenty20 side which won 3-0, while averaging 123 with the bat.

Just how substantial the national team's windfall will be is yet to be finalised by Cricket Australia and the players' union, the Australian Cricketers' Association, but the figure will be at least $900,000. 

That England was ranked in the top four in the Test and one-day formats at the start of the summer is also factored into the incentives.

Australia's dream summer has also left the players well placed to collect a further $970,000 in cash incentives after the Test series against South Africa and the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

That sum is made up of bonuses of $350,000 if Australia can displace India from second in the Test rankings, $280,000 if it can retain the No.1 one-day ranking until the cut-off date of March 31, and a further $60,000 if it can win the country's first World Twenty20 title.

Should India, which plays in the Asian Cup in February and March, regain top spot in the ODIs, then Australia's bonus for finishing second will be $140,000.

There is also the chance for another $280,000 bonus if Australia is deemed to have been ranked the top ODI side for the 12-month period from April 1, 2013, until the end of March, irrespective of whether it remains first in overall rankings.

The bonuses are part of a new performance-based player payment scheme agreed on by the ACA and CA in 2012 following a recommendation in the Argus review, which suggested financial incentives for success.

Although Bailey was dropped from the Test side after averaging 26.14 in the Ashes clean sweep, his spots in limited over international cricket are rock solid.

He is Australia's top- performing batsman in ODIs where he averages an impressive 53.12, is vice- captain to Clarke and was named player of the year at last month's Allan Border Medal.

In his 22 T20 internationals, all as captain, he averages 30.07 at the powerful strike rate of 146.68.

The former South Launceston batsman was one of five Tasmanian Tigers named in the list of 2013-14 contracted players announced by Cricket Australia in April 2013, along with Ed Cowan, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfenhaus and James Faulkner, who was 12th man for all five Ashes Tests.

Under a pay agreement with the ACA, the minimum CA retainer contract is worth in the region of $230,000, with performance payments, including about $15,000 for each Test match, $5600 for an ODI and $4200 for a T20i.

Although Bailey was not among the 11 cricketers on Business Review Weekly's Top 50 sports earners published this week, retired Australian and Tasmanian captain Ricky Ponting came in at No.24 with an estimated gross earning for 2013 of $2m based on performances with Hobart Hurricanes, Surrey and Antigua, the release of his autobiography and commentary contract with Channel Ten.

Launceston WorldTour cyclist Matthew Goss came in at No.45 with estimated earnings of $1.5m from his team ORICA-GreenEDGE.

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