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March 11, 2014
At some point over the next few weeks, Brad Hogg should become the oldest man to represent Australia in any format since Clarrie Grimmett. However, it seems Hogg will have to wait for his first international as a 43-year-old, with a tight hamstring likely to keep him on the sidelines for the second Twenty20 against South Africa in Durban on Wednesday.
The first match in Port Elizabeth was washed out without a ball being bowled and rain may again play havoc with the teams' World T20 preparation, with Durban's forecast far from ideal. If play is possible on Wednesday the Australians are unlikely to have Hogg in their side, while the allrounder James Faulkner is also unavailable as he continues his recovery from a knee problem.
Hogg has not played for Australia since the last World T20 in Sri Lanka in 2012 but the expected spinning conditions in Bangladesh for this year's tournament encouraged the selectors to take a punt on his experience. But a lengthy net session with spin coach Shane Warne and the rest of the slow bowlers in the squad in Cape Town has hurt his chances of playing in South Africa.
"It's a weird one. I can do everything except bowl," Hogg told AAP. "Every time I plant that front leg down, I can't get over there. But I'm glad it's happened now and not over in Bangladesh. If it was a big game - you'd take the medications and definitely would (play). But I think we're taking a conservative approach at the moment so I'm right for the World Cup.
"I was in awe of the king [Warne]. I wanted to make the most of the opportunity and I went for an hour and a half, which was probably too long."
Whenever Hogg does take the field he will not only be the oldest man ever to play a T20 international, he will also be Australia's oldest cricketer since Grimmett last played a Test in Durban in 1936. Grimmett was 44 when he last represented Australia.
If Hogg sits out of Wednesday's match as expected, it will leave the selectors with 13 men to choose from, with Faulkner being eased back ahead of the World T20. Faulkner picked up a knee injury during the one-day series against England in Australia in January but the team doctor Peter Brukner said he was hopeful Faulkner would be fit for Australia's first match at the World T20.
"The plan's never really been for him to play any of the matches here," Brukner said. "We don't want to rush him; he had significant surgery five weeks ago. He's a young guy. We don't want to jeopardise his long-term prospects, so we're taking him along very slowly.
"He's coming along very well. He bowled a little bit yesterday, did some running. We'll build him up over the next week or so, and the aim has always been to have him ready to play in Bangladesh."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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