Shahid Afridi the most expensive player in Bangladesh T20 league

Shahid Afridi was bought for $700,000 dollars, the highest in the BPL auction, by team Dhaka Gladiators AFP

Dhaka: Jan 19, 2012

Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi was the most expensive of a host of international stars sold at the inaugural auction for the new Bangladesh Premier League on Thursday as he fetched $700,000.

The former Pakistani captain hit the jackpot in a secret bidding process after he became the target of all six teams in the Twenty20 cricket tournament to be held next month.

“Shahid Afridi was bought for $700,000 dollars, the highest in the BPL auction, by our team Dhaka Gladiators,” team spokesman Minhaz Khan told AFP.

Hard-hitting West Indies batsman Chris Gayle was sold to Barisal Burners for $551,100 and his compatriot Marlon Samuels to Duronto Rajshahi for $360,000, according to live telecast by private Channel 9 Television.

The BPL is the Bangladeshi answer to Indian Premier League (IPL), which revolutionised cricket when it burst on to the scene in 2008 with a high-octane blend of international star players, Twenty20 matches and celebrity glamour.

West Indian Kieron Pollard was sold to Dhaka for $300,000 and Bangladeshi allrounder Nasir Hossain for $200,000 to Khulna. Ex-Pakistani captain Shoaib Malik and West Indies batsman Dwayne Bravo each landed $150,000.

Seventeen foreign players were put on auction with a base price of $100,000 including Sri Lankan greats Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas, New Zealander Scott Styris and Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor.

Ex-Australian Stuart MacGill was one of 36 players auctioned with a base price of $50,000. The leggie was sold to Dhaka at the base price.

Bangladesh internationals Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Ashraful, Shahriar Nafees and Alok Kapali had been selected as icon players for six franchises and were excluded from auction.

Indian company Game On bought the rights of the first six editions of BPL for around $44 million dollars last year. Six franchises were bought by Bangladeshi companies with a minimum price of one million dollars.(AFP)