NEW DELHI: India's top woman badminton player Saina Nehwal will become the country's highest paid sportsperson, besides cricketers, after signing a $7.5 million contract with a sports management firm, according to a media report.

The Indian Express reported on Wednesday that Nehwal, who won a singles bronze at this year's London Olympics, has been signed for three years by Rhiti Sports, which also manages cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"I'm happy and looking forward to start a working relationship with Rhiti. With Rhiti's background and credibility, they know how to balance things and that is a big plus point," Nehwal was quoted as saying.

She becomes one of the world's best-earning badminton players.

Chinese men's singles gold medallist Lin Dan reportedly earns about Rs 12.8 crore annually in net earnings, while Malaysian Lee Chong Wei takes home Rs 8.7 crore approximately, the paper said.

They will now look after Nehwal's brand associations, corporate profile, patents and digital rights, images and all other commercial rights exclusively.

Her previous contract was with the Deccan Chronicle group, whose cash-strapped Indian Premier League team Deccan Chargers was recently scrapped by the Board of Control for Cricket in India over non-payment of players' fees.

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