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Noffke off to Middlesex

Aussie to provide cover for unavailable Kartik

Noffke: Middlesex return

Middlesex have completed the overseas signing of Ashley Noffke as a short term replacement for Murali Kartik.

Noffke joins newly appointed second XI coach Richard Scott at Lords after Scott has also joined the county following a successful coaching stint at Dorset.

The Australian fast bowler is available from the start of the season and will stay at Lord's until June to coincide with Kartik's return.

The Indian spinner enjoyed an outstanding season for Middlesex last year, and Noffke will be hoping to make a similar impact during his brief stay.

Kartik has been made unavailable for Middlesex in April and May by the Board of Control for Cricket in India - news which has been met with disappointment by everyone at the club.

Chief executive, Vinny Codrington told the club's official website: "We were obviously disappointed not to have Kartik for the start of the season, but we're delighted to have signed Noffke - he's a high quality opening bowler.

Fire power

"It's great to have Noffke come back home to where he played his first English county season back in 2002.

"He knows Lord's and he'll add a bit of extra fire power to our already very strong attack at the start of the season when the ball should be nipping about."

Noffke revealed that the decision to rejoin Middlesex was an easy one, and he hopes he can kick-start the club's title challenge.

"I am delighted to be joining Middlesex for the start of the 2008 season," he said.

"As soon as I knew the club were interested it wasn't a hard decision to decide where I wanted to play.

"I am still in touch with a few of the players from my previous spell there and can't wait to link up with the squad and help push them forwards during the early part of the season."