The much-awaited players’ auction of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 starts today in Chennai. A total of 164 Indian players, 125 overseas cricketers, and 3 players from Associate nations will be up for grabs.

All the eight franchises – Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals – will take part in the mini-auction.

Like every year, some players will trigger huge buzz and attract a lot of attention by grabbing a big deal. But amid all the superstars, who could be the most expensive player in the event? Well, former India pacer Ashish Nehra has the answer.

While speaking on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected, Nehra picked Bangladesh veteran Shakib Al Hasan as the costliest player in IPL 2021 mini-auction. Nehra reckoned that Shakib would be a valuable asset to any of the eight IPL franchises as the top-quality all-rounder can contribute both with the bat and ball.

“Again, one more IPL auction and plenty of big names, but one name, which according to me is right on top – can be the most expensive player of this IPL auction – is Bangladesh all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan (former captain). He can give balance to any IPL team in any T20,” said Nehra.

Shakib wasn’t a part of last year’s bidding program as he was serving a ban for a year levied by the International Cricket Council (ICC). However, he has now returned to the field in the recently concluded series against West Indies.

When it comes to his IPL career, Shakib has played 63 matches, scoring 746 runs at an average of 21.3 and strike rate of 126.7 with two half-centuries. The 33-year-old has also picked up 59 wickets at an economy rate of 7.46 and an average of 28 with 3/17 being his best figure in the cash-rich league.

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