When you think of Australia players in the IPL, your mind probably goes to the likes of David Warner and Shane Watson, who’ve been securing deals and smashing hundreds for years now.
Going back in time, you could think of Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, who lit up the competition even in the twilight of their playing careers
Aside from these superstars, IPL has featured a host of far less memorable stints from Australia – a few popular names who could never hit it off in the competition, while other rather obscure players, stalwarts as they might be in Australia domestic cricket, couldn’t create a lasting impact in the league.
Delhi Daredevils, 2008
Three years before a back injury forced him to retire at 29, Brett Geeves was handed an IPL contract with the Delhi Daredevils. To make things better, Geeves got to open the bowling with Glenn McGrath, but while the senior statesman was more economical, Geeves leaked runs in both the games he played. In eight overs combined, he went for 91 runs and picked up one wicket, never to play the tournament again. He did earn his maiden call-up for Australia in the next few months, however.
Rajasthan Royals, 2008
Under the then-skipper Shane Warne, Australia’s Lee Carseldine earned an IPL contract alongside Rob Quiney and Shane Harwood for Rajasthan Royals in 2009. On debut, he scored a 32-ball 39, but only managed 45 runs combined in his next four innings before being left out in the cold. A touch more memorable was the only IPL wicket he claimed, picking the scalp of Rahul Dravid with his left-arm medium-pace. Five years after his playing career wrapped up in 2011, Carseldine was seen flexing his enviable torso on the show Australian Survivor.
Pune Warriors, 2011-2012
Touted as Australia’s next big thing at one point, Callum Ferguson, now 35, is unlikely to add to his 33 caps in a stop-start international career. Nine years ago, he was in the Australia mix, earning an IPL contract on the side and featuring for the now defunct Pune Warriors. A combination of international commitments and limited overseas spots kept his IPL appearances to nine games across two seasons (2011-2012), and he failed to kick off in the competition, managing a high score of 23, and ending only one innings with a strike-rate of over 100.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2008
If anyone ever asks, Ashley Noffke was the first overseas bowler to pick an IPL wicket, dismissing fellow countryman David Hussey in the inaugural game of IPL 2008. As things turned out, it remained his only IPL game, soon forgotten after Brendon McCullum carted the tone-setting 158* against his team. Before his first IPL game, Noffke played one ODI and two T20Is, but never managed to break into the Australia team again.
Pune Warriors, 2010
Years before his Test average drew comparisons with Donald Bradman, Adam Voges bagged an IPL deal, three seasons into his Australia career. Playing as a middle-order batsman under Warne’s captaincy, Voges garnered a string of starts, staying unbeaten in three of his six innings in 2010. An average of 45.25 and a strike-rate of 127 made for a pretty reading, but he didn’t play a season thereafter.
Rajasthan Royals, 2008
Yes, Darren Lehmann. Having won the trophy as a coach with Deccan Chargers in IPL 2009, few would remember that a 38-year-old Lehmann won the inaugural title as a player the season before. His contributions were brief and forgettable – 18 runs in two games, and his left-arm orthodox wasn’t employed in either of the matches.
Rajasthan Royals, 2010
One would think Shane Warne was assembling Australia’s dream team in Jaipur. Another unusual name, Martyn played just the one game in 2010, garnering a sedate 19 off 24 before Praveen Kumar cleaned up him. Mid-season, Rajasthan decided to trim their squad, leaving out the 38-year-old, who had last played an international game four years before.
Mumbai Indians, 2008
With bucket loads of domestic runs under his belt, Thornely bagged a deal with the star-studded Mumbai Indians, and found a spot in the playing XI with Sachin Tendulkar out with injury. Before he could score his first run, Thornely was hit on the brow by a Zaheer Khan bouncer and rushed to hospital where he required 16 stitches. It did little to dim his enthusiasm, as Thornely was back in a fortnight, scoring a 24-ball 30 in his second game, but managed just nine runs in his next two innings, wrapping up his IPL career at six appearances.
Delhi Daredevils, 2009-2011
Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2012-2013
McDonald played five different seasons of IPL, but could only manage a total of 11 games. With strong batting line-ups in both the teams he won deals for, McDonald hovered between positions 5 and 7, posting a couple of 30s but nothing more. With the ball, his gentle medium pace accounted for 11 wickets, but his economy of 8.42 probably hurt his place.
The IPL association didn’t end there though. He’s currently with the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020, acting as head coach.
Kings XI Punjab, 2008-2009, 2013
Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2011
A riches to rags tale, this. Pomersbach, whose T20I debut story is now part of modern cricketing folklore, was picked up from the parking lot as a spectator and handed his Australia cap when Brad Hodge pulled up in the warm-up. His IPL debut wasn’t as dramatic, but definitely solid – picked to play for Kings XI Punjab in 2008, he scored an unbeaten 24-ball 34 at three. In fact, after his first four IPL innings, his average stood at 151, but the following seasons weren’t as fruitful. In 2012, he was arrested on charges of assault and molestation in India, but still fetched a $300,000 deal ahead of the 2013 IPL. Earlier this year, it emerged that Pomersbach, now retired, is living in a car, facing theft charges.