The bat of Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim found an unlikely buyer in Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi, who bought the memorabilia for his foundation at $20,000 (Tk 17 lakh approximately), said an official on Friday.
Mushfiq put the bat, with which he scored Bangladesh’s first Test double hundred in 2013 against Sri Lanka, in an auction earlier this week, but the process had to be suspended due to some fake bidding.
The auction was jointly operated by his management partner Nibco, Sports for Life and Pickaboo.com.
Chief executive officer of Pickaboo.com, Morin Talukder, told New Age that after some initial hiccups they finally got the right buyer in Shahid Afridi Foundation, who confirmed their interest through an official letter.
‘We have received an email in official letterhead from Shahid Afridi foundation. They confirmed that they will be buying the bat for $20,000,’ he said.
Mushfiq later confirmed the matter through a Facebook live show.
‘Afridi contacted me personally and I sent him a link of bid. He saw the link but found the price higher than his expectations because you know at the early stage we had many fraud bidders,’ Mushfiq said.
‘On the 13th May he sent me a letter and offered $20,000 price. He bought my bat with this money,’ said Mushfiq.
Mushfiq expressed his gratitude to team-mate Tamim Iqbal for helping him set up the link and also thanked Afridi for his gesture.
He also criticised the fake bidders for putting him in an embarrassing situation.
‘I condemn the fraud bidders, for this noble cause you demeaned me…whoever comes forward for this kind of noble gesture, at least support them if you cannot participate,’ he said.
Afridi later praised Mushfiq for his initiative through a video message.
‘Mushfiq what you are doing for your people is fantastic. Real-life heroes do this kind of works. We are passing a tough time. In this kind of time, we need each other’s help,’ he said.
Shahid Afridi Foundation was initiated in 2014 by the former Pakistan cricketer to carry out philanthropic activities in Pakistan and abroad.
The same platform also put a few other memorabilia, such as the bat of Mosaddek Hossain, Naim Sheikh, a signed cap by Mashrafee bin Murtaza and the batting gloves and jersey used by Akbar Ali in Under-19 World Cup final, with an aim to raise funds for coronavirus affected people.
Mushfiq’s management firm Nibco Sports Management later in a statement confirmed a Bangladeshi expatriate bought Akbar’s gloves and jersey for $2,000.
Part of this fund will go to non-profit organisation BRAC for cash disbursement among the coronavirus affected marginal people while the player concerned would spend the rest of the money for his own initiative, it said.
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