Bopara will spend four weeks with the Kings XI Punjab
England all-rounder Ravi Bopara has thanked Essex for allowing him to play in the Indian Premier League.
The 23-year-old will play for the Kings XI Punjab, after they bid £300,000 for him in Friday's auction.
Essex have released Bopara for four of the competition's six weeks and will get 10% of his joining fee.
"I love Essex to death. I have played for them since I was a boy and I'm just delighted they have given me the opportunity to go," he told BBC Essex.
"I've been given the opportunity to go out and play for four weeks and that's priceless," he added.
"I want to go and put myself on the front page and be under that sort of pressure and play with those fantastic cricketers that are going to be out there."
Bopara watched the auction, which saw figures of over one million pounds paid for Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen, on television and admitted it was a very strange experience.
"When my name got called out I got a butterfly feeling in my stomach, which was weird," he explained.
"I've never had that sort of feeling in cricket before."