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.
West Indian Kieron Pollard was sold to Dhaka for $300,000 and Bangladeshi all-rounder 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.
“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.