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BPL bucks for two

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

BPL bucks for two

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Bajans?Dwayne Smith and Fidel Edwards are among 12 West Indians, headed by dashing opener Chris Gayle, signed to play in the inaugural Bangladesh Twenty20 Premier League (BPL) next month.
Smith, currently in a rich vein of form, was snapped up for US$50 000 by Khulan Royal Brengals, the same side which has signed fast bowler Fidel Edwards for US$60 000 and Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell for US$85 000.
But the big-hitting Gayle, whose career has been put on ice due to his long-running dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board, was pipped for the highest price overall by Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi.
Afridi was sold for US$700 000 to the Dhaka Gladiators and Gayle went for US$551 000 to the Barisal Burners after a tie-breaker with Rajshahi. However, Gayle will only get a proportion of that fee because he won’t be available the full season.
Gayle is set to play for the Dolphins in South Africa’s domestic Twenty20 series from February 15.
Graceful Jamaican batsman Marlon Samuels, whose batting during the West Indies’ recent series in Bangladesh was outstanding, fetched the next highest price by a West?Indian of US$360 000 for the Duronto Rajshadi.
This was above Kieron Pollard, whose reputation as a big hitter has him in high demand in T20 tournaments globally. The Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder was picked by the Gladiators for US$300 000.
His compatriot and fellow all-rounder Dwayne Bravo went to the Chittagong Kings for US$150 000.
There were a few surprising choices in the list with heavily-maligned West Indies captain Darren Sammy fetching US$55 000 for the Sylhet Royals.
Fast bowler Jerome Taylor has not played any serious cricket for the last year, but the Kings picked him up for US$50 000, along with emerging Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Kevon Cooper for US$25 000.
The Khulan Royal Brengals claimed durable batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul for US$25 000, although his opportunities in the shorter version of the game have been few this past year, while opener Lendl Simmons was picked up for US$25 000 by the Chittagong Kings.
Some Grade A players like Scott Styris, Chaminda Vaas, Dirk Nannes and West?Indians Ramnaresh Sarwan and Kemar Roach were left on the shelf, leading to a few raised eyebrows.
Barbadians Tino Best and Sulieman Benn failed to attract any buyers.
But there was room for retired players Muttiah Muralitharan and Sanath Jayasuriya, who were signed up by Dhaka and Khulna.
The BPL will be contested by six franchises that were bought for prices ranging between US $1.01 million and US $1.2 million, with SQ Sports picking up Chittagong for the highest value during the franchise auction on January 10.
The season will commence on February 9 and is likely to clash with the WICB Regional Four-day Competition which opens on February 3.
An official source said the WICB is not likely to object to the players taking part in the tournament, but the final decision will rest with their territorial boards. (CMC/EZS)