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 USD700,000.

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.

The former Pakistani captain hit the jackpot in a secret bidding process.

"Shahid Afridi was bought for USD700,000 Dollars, the highest in the BPL auction, by our team Dhaka Gladiators," team spokesman Minhaz Khan said.

Hard-hitting West Indies batsman Chris Gayle was sold to Barisal Burners for USD551,100 and his compatriot Marlon Samuels to Duronto Rajshahi for USD360,000, according to news channel.

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 USD300,000 and Bangladeshi allrounder Nasir Hossain for USD200,000 to Khulna. Ex-Pakistani captain Shoaib Malik and West Indies batsman Dwayne Bravo each landed USD150,000.

Seventeen foreign players were put on auction with a base price of USD100,000 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 USD50,000. 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 USD44 million Dollars last year.

Six franchises were bought by Bangladeshi companies with a minimum price of one million Dollars.

(Agencies)