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October 23, 2008
Brad Hodge has become Victoria's leading run scorer at first-class level, passing the mark of 10,412 runs set by his childhood hero Dean Jones. Hodge, 33, reached the milestone with a single off Ryan Harris as he struck an unbeaten 17 in Victoria's win over Queensland at the Gabba.
Hodge entered the game needing 15 to move past Jones but he had to wait until the second innings after managing only 2 in the first innings. It was a well-deserved moment for Hodge, who had a poster of Jones on his bedroom wall when he was growing up.
"Brad's appetite for runs and success has been incredible and on his day, there are few who can match him for poise and potency," Victoria's coach Greg Shipperd said. "On many occasions he's carried the hopes of the side and on his current form, you'd expect him to extend the runs record by a considerable margin."
Hodge finished the Sheffield Shield match with 10,417 first-class runs for Victoria at an average of 46.09. He also has his former captain Darren Berry's mark of a record 138 first-class appearances for the Bushrangers in his sights; Hodge should overtake Berry when Victoria host Tasmania on November 15.
Another Jones milestone that Hodge could soon surpass is the record for the most centuries for Victoria; he needs two to draw level with Jones' 31 hundreds. Geoff Tamblyn, the Cricket Victoria chairman, said Hodge had made an enormous contribution to the state team since he burst onto the scene as a teenager.
"To a large extent, Deano passed the baton on to Hodgey in terms of being Victoria's leading batsman, so it's fitting that Brad has overtaken the mark set by his former captain," Tamblyn said. "We also anticipate him adding to his Australian runs tally throughout the summer."
Hodge still holds a Cricket Australia contract and made a one-off Test appearance in the West Indies this year after being a late call-up to the squad. However, he was overlooked for the tour of India and will have to fight off several younger challengers to add to his six Test caps and 25 one-day international outings.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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