x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Shahid Afridi most expensive player in Bangladesh Premier League

The Twenty20 league will also feature the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard.

Shahid Afridi, arms raised, has been had tremendous success for the Pakistan cricket team.
Shahid Afridi, arms raised, has been had tremendous success for the Pakistan cricket team.

DHAKA // Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan all-rounder, was the most expensive of a host of international players sold at the inaugural auction for the new Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) on Thursday as he fetched US$700,000 (Dh2.5 million).

The former Pakistan 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 Agence France-Presse.

Chris Gayle, the hard-hitting West Indies batsman, was sold to Barisal Burners for $551,100 and Marlon Samuels, his comptriot, 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.

Kieron Pollard, another West Indian, was sold to Dhaka for $300,000 and Nasir Hossain, the Bangladesh all-rounder, for $200,000 to Khulna. Shoaib Malik, the former Pakistan captain and all-rounder, and Dwayne Bravo, the West Indies batsman, 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.

Stuart MacGill, the former Australia leg-spinner, was one of 36 players auctioned with a base price of $50,000. He was sold to Dhaka at the base price.

Game On, an Indian company, 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.