Jos Buttler will make his Indian Premier League debut with Mumbai Indians after being snapped up by the champions in today’s auction in Bangalore.
The wicketkeeper-batsman will get the chance to test himself against the world’s best, and in the pressure-cooker environment of the IPL, after Mumbai fended off interest from two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders.
Buttler joins England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, who is already contracted to Sunrisers Hyderabad, at the tournament which runs from April 8 until May 29.
Buttler offered a timely reminder of his hard-hitting talents on the eve of the auction after crashing a 73-ball century in the opening match of the one-day international series against South Africa in Bloemfontein.
Remarkably, that century is the slowest of Buttler’s four tons in ODI cricket.
The 25-year-old has the three fastest ODI centuries by an England batsman with his fastest coming against Pakistan in November when he reached three figures from just 46 balls.
Buttler was given the all-clear by the England and Wales Cricket Board to nominate for today’s auction and get the chance to play in arguably the world’s premier Twenty20 competition.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) February 6, 2016
And the interest in him was immediate as the Indians put in an offer at his base price before engaging in a bidding war with the Knight Riders.
Mumbai coach and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting was intent on getting his man, however, and there were handshakes all around the Indians’ bidding table when Buttler was confirmed as their man for £385,000.
Mumbai are one of the highest-profile franchises in the IPL – they are mentored by India legend Sachin Tendulkar – and have won the tournament in two of the past three seasons.
They beat Chennai Super Kings in last year’s final in Kolkata by 41 runs and Buttler will join up with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh.
Kevin Pietersen was the only other England player bought in the initial phase of the auction after new franchise Rising Pune Supergiants made him the first deal of the day for £350,000.
The 35-year-old will play for his fifth IPL franchise after being released by Hyderabad in December.
Australia all-rounder Shane Watson was the most expensive player purchased at today’s auction after Royal Challengers Bangalore spent just over £950,000 on him.