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World's richest athletes list: MS Dhoni lone Indian with earnings of $31m


New York, June 11: India's ODI captain MS Dhoni is among Forbes magazine's 100 highest-paid athletes in the world, the only Indian sportsman on the list that has been topped again by American boxer Floyd Mayweather and includes golfer Tiger Woods, tennis star Roger Federer and Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.

Dhoni has been ranked 23rd on the Forbes list of The World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2015, dropping a notch from his ranking of 22 last year. Dhoni's total earnings stood at USD 31 million, including amount from salary/winnings at USD 4 million and endorsements worth USD 27 million.

The 33-year old cricketer retired from Test cricket at the end of 2014, ceding his Indian national team captainship to fellow star Virat Kohli but remains India's skipper at the One Day International and T20 levels.

"He led India to the semi-final round of the 2015 Cricket World Cup before suffering a loss to eventual champion Australia, and in May the Chennai Super Kings went to the IPL Finals for the sixth time in his eight years as team captain," Forbes said.

He is also co-producing 'M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story,' an upcoming biopic that has been "fraught with delays but has already funneled some three millions into the Indian star's pockets".

The earnings figures include salaries, prize money and bonuses paid out between June 2014 and June 2015. Mayweather retains the top spot this year with earnings of USD 300 million, more than double the previous high for an athlete.

This is the third time in four years that Mayweather was ranked as the world's highest-paid athlete, Forbes said.

"Mayweather's $300 million year shatters the record for athlete earnings, which was previously held by Tiger Woods who banked $115 million in 2008," Forbes said. Mayweather's May 2 fight against Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao crushed multiple boxing financial records, including USD 13 million in sponsorships.

Only two women made the 2015 Forbes list after the retirement of Chinese tennis player Li Na last year. Russian professional tennis player Maria Sharapova is the top-ranked women at number 26 with earnings of USD 29.7 million.

Sharapova bounced back from an injury riddled 2013 to win the 2014 French Open, triggering lucrative bonuses from sponsors like Nike and Head, Forbes said. American tennis player Serena Williams earned USD 24.6 million and ranks number 47 on the list.

The world's top-ranked tennis player captured her 20th Grand Slam singles title at the French Open. Her USD 72 million in career prize money is double that of Sharapova, her closest competitor. The 100 highest-paid athletes made USD 3.2 billion in total over the last 12 months, up 17 percent from the previous year.

Pacquiao ranks second on the list with total earnings of USD 160 million followed by Real Madrid's Ronaldo with earnings of USD 79.6 million. Federer ranks fifth with earnings of USD 67 million, including USD 58 million from sponsors, exhibitions and appearance fees.

Federer dropped to No. 7 in the world tennis rankings in 2013 but he rebounded last year to finish 2014 in second. LeBron James is the National Basketball Association's (NBA) top-earning player and ranks sixth among all athletes at USD 64.8 million.

The list also includes tennis player Novak Djokovic on the 13th rank with earnings of USD 48.2 million, German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel (21), tennis star Rafael Nadal (22), soccer player Wayne Rooney (34) and Jamaican runner Usain Bolt (73).


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Story first published: Thursday, June 11, 2015, 10:55 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 11, 2015
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