England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler was the subject of a bidding war during today’s Indian Premier League (IPL) before being bought by Mumbai Indians for £385,000.
The fee made Buttler, who is playing for England in the second one-day international against South Africa in Port Elizabeth today, a more expensive commodity than T20 specialist Kevin Pietersen.
Buttler, 25, notched his second successive one-day century in England’s Duckworth-Lewis victory over the Proteas in Bloemfontein on Wednesday and was the subject of a tug-of-war contest between the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Pietersen, meanwhile, was the first player to go under the hammer, in an auction conducted by Welshman Richard Madley, and was sold to Rising Pune Supergiants for £350,000.
Big-hitting Australia all-rounder Shane Watson commanded the highest bid of the auction as Royal Challengers Bangalore paid more than £950,000 for his services.
Despite being a centrally contracted player, Buttler was actively encouraged to play in the IPL by England head coach Trevor Bayliss and director of cricket Andrew Strauss after losing his Test place to Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow.