'Disillusioned' Noffke considers Indian leagues
Ashley Noffke says he is seriously considering continuing his career with lucrative Twenty20 leagues like the IPL and ICL after being overlooked for Australia's tour of India. Noffke, 31, was in the Test squad that visited the West Indies this year but was ignored for the India trip as the selectors instead went for the Victoria fast bowler Peter Siddle, 23.
Siddle has only 11 matches of first-class experience compared to Noffke's 100 games and 346 wickets. Noffke was named for the Caribbean trip following his outstanding Pura Cup campaign but the selectors said for the second tour of the year Siddle was picked specifically because he would suit the conditions.
"I have told Digger [national selection chairman Andrew Hilditch] that I am totally disillusioned with the way these selections work," Noffke told the Herald Sun. "Digger said they had picked the best squad for Indian conditions, but that explanation didn't leave me feeling any better. I was good enough to be in the West Indies squad and I haven't played cricket since then so how can I get passed over?"
In 2007-08, Noffke became only the third Australian to complete the domestic season double of 50 wickets and 500 runs. He led the Queensland first-class batting with 741 runs at 46.31 and the bowling with 51 wickets, 36 ahead of the second-placed Michael Kasprowicz, and claimed his second consecutive Ian Healy Trophy for the state's Player of the Year.
"I am a firm believer in taking wickets and scoring runs to put my name forward and I've done that. This feels like the end of my dreams of playing for Australia," Noffke said. "I have to now start to think about where I am placed and how much money I can earn to look after my family. There is the IPL and the ICL and they are on my mind. Absolutely."
Noffke was picked by the Bangalore Royal Challengers as a replacement for the injured Nathan Bracken for the first season of the IPL in 2007-08. He played the tournament's first game against Kolkata Knight Riders and took 1 for 40. Noffke had previously expressed doubt as to whether he would ever play Test cricket, but this time he seriously believed he deserved a shot at playing in India.
"I am totally bemused to be passed over this quickly, apparently because they don't feel I will suit Indian conditions," he said. "I took 4 for 39 [during the ongoing A Team Triangular Series] in India this week and I've always bowled well at the SCG and MCG which are probably the Australian pitches which are most like Indian pitches."
Noffke has played one ODI and two Twenty20s for Australia. Although he is generally chosen as a frontline fast bowler, his batting has developed significantly in the past few seasons and he has scored two first-class centuries.