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    Afridi hits jackpot in B'desh auction

    Dhaka: 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.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.