Leicester (UK), June 14 (ANI): Australian fast bowler Brett Lee stands to pocket a two million cash bonanza from Cricket Australia's revised pay structure despite fears that his form is on the wane at the international level.
Under an agreement struck between CA and the Australian Cricketers' Association last Wednesday - as part of a new Memorandum of Understanding - Australia's top six stars will receive fixed-rate deals.
According to The Age, the unprecedented move will guarantee the elite contingent match payments for every Test, one-day and Twenty20 game in the 2009-11 contract period, regardless of whether they take the field.
CA does not divulge its rankings but it is understood the top six are, in order, Ponting, Michael Clarke, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Hussey, Lee and Brad Haddin.
Collectively, the six will pocket a minimum 15.5 million dollars in match fees and base CA salaries over the next two years.
But it is Lee who shapes as the high-risk investment. Turning 33 in November, Lee has yet to bowl in Test cricket since his return from a broken foot and was mauled by West Indian Chris Gayle last week in the T20 World Cup.
It is believed Lee's base CA retainer for 2009-10 is 760,000 dollars. Should he secure his contract for 2010-11, as expected, Lee would be guaranteed 1.22 million dollars in match fees - taking his total earnings over the two-year period to 2.25 million dollars.
CA spokesman Peter Young said the revolutionary pay incentive was designed to aid the top six in the event they are rested to combat a gruelling schedule over the next 18 months.
But Lee may be a litmus test for the new structure. There is a possibility he will be handsomely rewarded for underperforming or, worse, missing games.(ANI)