As The Field had noted a year ago, there is a huge financial disparity between male and female athletes.
Virat Kohli's earnings of $24 million pales in comparison to boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s $285 million.
Williams was the only woman to feature in the top 100 last year, but her prize money dropped from Dollars 8 million to USD 62,000 this year after she gave birth to her daughter, Alexis, in September. He jumps 13 spots to fifth with an income of Dollars 90 million, including USD 19 million from endorsement partners.
Forbes's sporting rich list is created after calculating an athlete's earnings from prize money, salaries and bonuses in the year to 1 June 2018.
On the other hand, for the first time since 2010, women's athletes have not found their place in the list of 100 people.
LeBron James (basketball), Roger Federer (tennis), Stephen Curry (basketball), Matt Ryan (American football) and Matthew Stafford (American football) concluded the top 10.
Mayweather now has been the highest-paid athlete four times in the last seven years.
According to Forbes website www.forbes.com: "Athletes from 11 different sports made the cut". Close on the heels of Messi is another football legend, Cristiano Ronaldo. The top 100 earned $3.8 billion, a 23% jump over past year. Former sprint king Usain Bolt has seen his stakes take a dip and is now No.45 on the list.
Having not played much in the last 12 months owing to pregnancy and maternity leave, Williams' off-court earnings of $18 million was not enough to make 2018's top 100.