As Mitchell Johnson decides what to do with his one-fifteenth share of Australia's $US 2.24 million prizemoney for winning the 2007 World Cup, spare a thought for his Queensland team-mate Ashley Noffke. And wish him a happy 30th birthday today. If things had gone just a little differently over recent years it could have been Noffke, not Johnson, sitting in the dug-out watching the Australian eleven thrashing the daylights out of all comers without making a single World Cup appearance of his own.
Noffke, who toured with the Australian team in 2001 and the West Indies in 2003, is playing for Gloucestershire at the start of the 2007 county season until Umar Gul becomes available for the team. Yesterday, Noffke played a valuable role in a moment of cricketing history.
Noffke took 0/89 from ten overs as Surrey smashed a world record total for a fifty-over innings of 496 for 4. And he was almost the most economical of the Gloucestershire bowlers. Gloucestershire, in reply, were all out for 239 in 34.1 overs in the Friends Provident Trophy game at The Oval.
Many happy returns, Noffers!