Tuffey to sign for Indian league
Daryl Tuffey is poised to join India’s rebel Twenty20 cricket ranks but hopes it will not stop him playing first-class cricket for Auckland later this season.
The former New Zealand test pace spearhead said he was ready to put pen to paper in the coming days and sign an “attractive offer” to join the Indian Cricket League (ICL) which starts next month.
He will join former New Zealand team-mates Chris Cairns, Nathan Astle, Chris Harris and Hamish Marshall, while current one-day international Craig McMillan will continue talks with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Justin Vaughan this week over his potential involvement.
“I’m leaning towards (signing). It’s the money and a bit of security. Nothing’s guaranteed with New Zealand Cricket, even the money you get playing domestic cricket back home,” Tuffey said.
“You’ve got to start looking after No. 1 at some point.”
Tuffey, 29, is not contracted by NZC and last week turned down the offer of a provincial contract with Auckland.
But he had spoken regularly with Auckland coach Mark O’Donnell, who indicated there would be a place for Tuffey when his ICL commitments finish at the end of next month.
“Not signing with Auckland has just made me a free agent. I can play for match fees if Auckland choose to do that. It’s a bit more relaxed for me now.
“I’m pretty keen to come back and play for Auckland and see what happens from there, if I’m bowling well.”
Tuffey bowled a wicketless six overs for his Sutherland team in Sydney grade cricket yesterday but has made a good start to the season, taking eight wickets at 15.25 in the opening three rounds.
He said Sutherland, coached by former New Zealand coach Steve Rixon, were keen for him to return later in the season if he was not required by Auckland.
Tuffey’s main aim is to get through his six-week Sydney stint injury-free. His right bicep injury has caused him ongoing grief since 2005, and restricted him to just one first-class match in the past two seasons.
He made a surprise return to the Black Caps at this year’s World Cup, playing one match before returning home.
He felt he had “four or five” good cricketing years left and had not given up hope of adding to his 22 tests and 80 one-day internationals for New Zealand.
“Who knows what happens if I go to India, but if the chance arose again that would be great.
“But I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket and hoping to play for New Zealand any more.
“I’ve had a great time playing international cricket but there’s other opportunities outside of cricket that I’m putting first at the moment.”
Among his other business interests is a potential investment in a vineyard in Marlborough.