Australia v England, 2nd Twenty20, Melbourne January 30, 2014

Veteran Hodge called up for second Twenty20

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Brad Hodge could play his first match for Australia in nearly six years after being called into the squad for the second Twenty20 in Melbourne on Friday.

At 39, Hodge is Twenty20 cricket's leading run scorer of all time, with 5844 at an average of 36.98 from his 209 matches in the format, and could be a valuable player at the upcoming World T20 in Bangladesh if the selectors chose to utilise his experience.

However, while the Melbourne match could be viewed as an audition for the World T20, Hodge's chances of playing in that tournament appear slim with Shane Watson and David Warner to return to the top of the order in addition to the men who beat England in Hobart on Wednesday.

The allrounder Moises Henriques played in that victory but will now fly to South Africa for the Test tour and Cricket Australia confirmed that Hodge would be added to the squad for the Melbourne game as a replacement for Henriques.

Whether Hodge will stay with the group for the third T20 in Sydney on Sunday remains to be seen but whatever the case, the call-up should give him a chance to play international cricket for the first time since the Test tour of West Indies in May 2008.

The last of his eight T20 internationals came almost six years ago to the day, at the MCG on February 1, 2008, when Adam Gilchrist was still part of a side that accounted for India.

Hodge's recall is comparable to the call-up of a 40-year-old Brad Hogg in January 2012, when he was picked on BBL form and with a World T20 in spinning conditions in Sri Lanka on the horizon.

"I never thought this day would happen again and it's a pleasing day to wake up, the sun was shining this morning and I got the call from John Inverarity and it was a nice pleasant surprise," Hodge said in Melbourne on Thursday. "I've probably had the game for a long time and I don't need to call on anything else other than experience to know exactly what I can do.

"I probably gave up the hope I suppose. I never gave up the thought of trying to achieve what I wanted to, and that was to play for Australia, but you felt that if things didn't happen before they certainly weren't going to happen now. But new regime, new sights and it's come my way, which is very pleasing."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • siddhartha87 on January 31, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    Hodge should have been a permanent player across all the formats a long time ago. Very disappointed with the way he is treated by the selectors in last 7-8 years:|

  • maverick0208 on January 31, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    One of the most unfortunate cricketers to have ever played the game so I am absolutely thrilled he finally got a call up to at least play T20. Reality is that he could still deliver at test or ODI level and would have much rathered see him than Phil (how many chances do I get) Hughes on a plane to South Africa.

  • Ms.Cricket on January 30, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    Even better would be for Brad Hodge to be on the Test plane to South Africa instead of Phil Hughes. Hodge did little wrong in his short Test career and was very unlucky to be ignored for no given reason.

  • dorothydix on January 30, 2014, 22:38 GMT

    Very good selection. But why not before?? He is without a doubt one of the best T20 as he can hit on both sides of the wicket equally well. Pick the best team whether players are 20 or 40 years old.

  • Chris_P on January 30, 2014, 21:31 GMT

    If the selectors were looking at the numbers of his form the past few years rather than the numbers after his age, he would have been selected sooner. That's what counts, if he is delivering at 38 then select him. Good move & it will please the Victorians!

  • sharidas on January 30, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    Extremely happy for Brad. He deserves to be in the Australian squad not just for twenty/20, but tests too.

  • jb633 on January 30, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    The best T20 bastman in the world I think. It astonishes me that he has not represented Aus in T20 since its inauguration. Class player.

  • fernandotorres on January 30, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    Finally the selectors make a decision they should have made ages ago! Hodge has captained Barisal Burners, one of the sides in Bangladesh Premier League; the only foreign captain in the league. He is top scorer in the history of the league with 756 runs and his experience of playing all over Bangladesh will help the team a lot! Although Lynn, Dunk etc have had a decent Big Bash, a big question remains whether they can cut it in Bangladesh! Hodge will be a much safer bet in Bangladesh. Hope he is on that plane to Bangladesh!

  • TheBigBoodha on January 30, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    RednWhiteArmy, that's pretty funny. Glad you found a place for Bruce Reid as 12th. But I'd give him a shot in the 11, as the public feel sorry that his first run in the Aussie team was cut short by injury.

  • StarveTheLizard on January 30, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    Melbourne is his home ground. He probably knows that Melbourne pitch as well as anyone. I think it's a good choice.

    On another note, can anyone tell me why a batsmen with an international 200 under his belt was consistently ignored by the selectors throughout his career?

  • siddhartha87 on January 31, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    Hodge should have been a permanent player across all the formats a long time ago. Very disappointed with the way he is treated by the selectors in last 7-8 years:|

  • maverick0208 on January 31, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    One of the most unfortunate cricketers to have ever played the game so I am absolutely thrilled he finally got a call up to at least play T20. Reality is that he could still deliver at test or ODI level and would have much rathered see him than Phil (how many chances do I get) Hughes on a plane to South Africa.

  • Ms.Cricket on January 30, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    Even better would be for Brad Hodge to be on the Test plane to South Africa instead of Phil Hughes. Hodge did little wrong in his short Test career and was very unlucky to be ignored for no given reason.

  • dorothydix on January 30, 2014, 22:38 GMT

    Very good selection. But why not before?? He is without a doubt one of the best T20 as he can hit on both sides of the wicket equally well. Pick the best team whether players are 20 or 40 years old.

  • Chris_P on January 30, 2014, 21:31 GMT

    If the selectors were looking at the numbers of his form the past few years rather than the numbers after his age, he would have been selected sooner. That's what counts, if he is delivering at 38 then select him. Good move & it will please the Victorians!

  • sharidas on January 30, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    Extremely happy for Brad. He deserves to be in the Australian squad not just for twenty/20, but tests too.

  • jb633 on January 30, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    The best T20 bastman in the world I think. It astonishes me that he has not represented Aus in T20 since its inauguration. Class player.

  • fernandotorres on January 30, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    Finally the selectors make a decision they should have made ages ago! Hodge has captained Barisal Burners, one of the sides in Bangladesh Premier League; the only foreign captain in the league. He is top scorer in the history of the league with 756 runs and his experience of playing all over Bangladesh will help the team a lot! Although Lynn, Dunk etc have had a decent Big Bash, a big question remains whether they can cut it in Bangladesh! Hodge will be a much safer bet in Bangladesh. Hope he is on that plane to Bangladesh!

  • TheBigBoodha on January 30, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    RednWhiteArmy, that's pretty funny. Glad you found a place for Bruce Reid as 12th. But I'd give him a shot in the 11, as the public feel sorry that his first run in the Aussie team was cut short by injury.

  • StarveTheLizard on January 30, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    Melbourne is his home ground. He probably knows that Melbourne pitch as well as anyone. I think it's a good choice.

    On another note, can anyone tell me why a batsmen with an international 200 under his belt was consistently ignored by the selectors throughout his career?

  • TheBigBoodha on January 30, 2014, 9:55 GMT

    Of course this pretty much tells you Australia's attitude to T20 cricket. This is nothing more than an attempt to get people through the gate in his home town. Won't it be embarrassing if he scores two tons off 40 balls - and then they drop him for the WC!

  • VivGilchrist on January 30, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    The World T20 is in a couple of months (how often is it played anyway?) so we should pick the best XI, that based on form should include Hodge and Hogg.

  • RednWhiteArmy on January 30, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    1 Slater 2 M.Waugh 3 Ponting 4 Jones 5 S.Waugh 6 Border 7 Healy 8 Moody 9 Fleming 10 Mcdermott 11 Taylor 12th man Reid

    Even at their current age, it would be a decent contest.

  • RednWhiteArmy on January 30, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    He's a much better option that Shane Peroxide. This guy is actually a batsman.

  • naren1983 on January 30, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    Very Surprise on CA that how they took 39-year old Hodge. But if you ask me, he should have been picked atleast on 2012 for WC T20 in SL itself and atleast going forward he should be given chances in T20 for this WC in Bangladesh & even consider him for 2016 T20 WC in India. At that time, he could be 41, but nevertheless, he has already proved he is a match winner in IPL for many crucial matches for last 2 to 3 years. Its the best time for Hodge to prove a point before his retirement.

  • Dagur on January 30, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    It is so pleasing to read that . Even at 39 he is one of the best in the game. He was easily one of the best finishers in the IPL. It is quite surprising when almost all Aussie batsmen were struggling for runs for the last 2-3 years, especially after the retirement of Heyden, Ponting and Hussey, CA did not think of this man ??

  • Shaggy076 on January 30, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    With the lack of showing from the English CA have pulled the Hodge move to bring in the fans to the game and create revenue. Otherwise, with Australia's current crop of limited over batsman he wouldn't get a look in and certainly isn't a like for like swap with Henriques who was required to bowl a few overs.

  • on January 30, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    c'mon hodgy we all know what a fantastic player u are in this format...just prove it once more to the Aussie selectors by scoring good in the second t20...good luck :)...hope u board the flight to Bangladesh for the worldt20..!

  • AMMAR3438668158 on January 30, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    Good to see u brad in the team.Now brad take the series for aussies and perform well with his bat.once again congrats to you

  • Big-Dog on January 30, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    Selections like this is one of the reasons Australia is only ranked 8th in T20. Ben Dunk's current form is better than Hodge's. What does he have to do to get a game?

  • elwarko on January 30, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    Bring Back Hoggy!!!!!!!!!

  • MrKricket on January 30, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    Brad Hogg next! Still the best and most economical T20 spinner!

  • AlSmug on January 30, 2014, 5:30 GMT

    ha they finally picked the man after all those trs, i was so convinced they thought he had leprosy , he was treated like one for a long time my advice go look up his tet batting average and think back to Australias struggle to post totals after langer hayden and co retired.....mmm.... why was he not playing for Australia ?

  • AussiePhoenix on January 30, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    Gotta feel for the guy. "Hey Brad we'd love to have you in the team, now'. After all that rejection he must have been tempted to say "Sorry guys I'm Committed to Melbourne and IPL, thanks for the offer though." Does Cricket Australia know what that 'C' word means?

  • SirBobJones on January 30, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    Good move, T20 isn't like the other formats where all this planning for the future talk overrides everything else. It's ok to think short-term in this, and Hodgey is the right man for the job.

  • on January 30, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    Hodge is still good, but what about Ben Dunk? He is batting (slogging) incredibly well. Has anyone noticed how the T20 team is going 'back-to-the-future' with almost all the batsmen being right-handers? It is a change from all the left-handed bias of our Test teams in recent years.

  • Cricket_theBestGame on January 30, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    well done selectors...pick him for one match then dump him. he is most mistreated player by CA along with simon katich..i remember hodg's current affair interview where he said in clear words "nothing much you can do if captain and coach don't want you"..ponting was captain then..can't remember who the coach was..

    hodge, if you are reading this, then please tell inverarty thanks but no thanks..in polite words ofcourse !

  • RJHB on January 30, 2014, 4:26 GMT

    This is as baffling a decision as the original one to NOT play him! But I am super pleased about it, there can barely be a more deserving player than B.Hodge! Good luck

  • on January 30, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    plz... select him for the world T20.. he will win the world cup for us.. he allready have plenty of experience playing in BPL.. i would bet on him for sure..

  • TheBigBoodha on January 30, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    I hear Dean Jones is keen for a run, too.

  • BradmanBestEver on January 30, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    Great selection - congrats to him. He is another "McGill" - born in the wrong country and at the wrong time

  • on January 30, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    Thanks from cricket australia that they picked hodge he is a talented australian player

  • on January 30, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    Victoria V England again surley there is a younger player who needs this experience more and will get value from this rather than a player filling in and as for the squad knowing some of the better players in South Africa ( Nsw team) some players cant be picked on form Matthew Wade is clearly struggling and must wonder where he is as he missed selection a few times i like tim paine as a better option hes come back to form what about some like Dunk who had a good Big Bash I Like having Cam white, Finch, Bailey wasnt in good form but is better and as captain you cant kick him out i aslo like henriqes and hazelwood as well as coulter nile and both cutting and christian have the potential i mean mitch starc has been injured how much cricket has he played at a higher lever when i 1st looked at this team i though that team looks out of shape good on Lyn for making runs knowing the squad is missing tallent

  • on January 30, 2014, 3:01 GMT

    MCG T20: 1. Finch. 2. White 3. Hodge 4. bailey 5. Lynn 6. Maxwell 7. Wade 8. Cutting 9. Nile 10. Starc 11. Muirhead Aus t20 world cup in Bangladesh : 1. Finch 2. Warner. 3. White 4. Watson 5. Bailey/ Hodge 6. Maxwell/Lynn. 7. Wade/ Paine 8. Faulkner/ Cutting 9. Starc/ Nile 10. Cummins /Johnson 11. Doherty/ Unknown

  • Sachit1979 on January 30, 2014, 2:57 GMT

    Great move. Hodge deserved it long back and in all formats of the game.

  • on January 30, 2014, 2:38 GMT

    Hodge is a great player and I am surprised he hasn't played internationally for that long. His experience is vital in Bangladesh as he has played there a few times (e.g. BPL)

  • on January 30, 2014, 2:24 GMT

    Hodge is gud t20 player. Nice choice

  • class9ryan on January 30, 2014, 2:19 GMT

    He would be much better on spinning pitches than most of the Aussie players, and he could be used as a finisher. Common selection panel, Australian team will benefit having him in the team.

  • on January 30, 2014, 2:17 GMT

    Hodge deserves a chance..if CA gives him a chance nd he stands up to it..CA will luk favorites in T20 WC evnthough thy r crntly #8.. My XI Finch Warner Watson Maxwell Lynn Hodge Bailey Haddin Faulkner Coultner Nail Doherty !

  • Insult_2_Injury on January 30, 2014, 2:11 GMT

    Makes sense, no reason that Lee, Hogg, etc aren't considered either, if in form. What doesn't make sense is the way the schedule has been set this season. The Ryobi Cup was two months before the International ODI's. Then Big Bash while Tests being played, then right when BBL is at the pointy end, the players from the top sides who'll play in the finals are taken from their sides to play T20 or already sent to Sth Africa. It's a mess, the best Players aren't playing in the International T20's &/or the culmination of CA's extended investment BBL! No doubt though Warner, Watson, Johnson will be playing IPL right through, but CA can't design a schedule that has it's own contracted players actively playing/ promoting its own competitions to allow the paying public to see its best home grown players in the flesh at BBL level AND also at International T20 level! Final of BBL should have been a week ago, maybe then undefeated Melb Stars wouldn't miss 10 players in finals. CA shoots own feet!

  • Hasun888 on January 30, 2014, 2:02 GMT

    Brad Hodge and Misbah ul Haq...the two men to look out for after the age of 40!!!

  • on January 30, 2014, 1:23 GMT

    Great selection by Cricket Australia. It should boost ticket sales at the MCG. Steve Waugh now a chance for the SCG game.

  • AngryAngy on January 30, 2014, 0:57 GMT

    I don't think much needs to be said other than *gasp*

  • on January 30, 2014, 0:35 GMT

    I hope lehmann gets him in in all formats, if he's fit enough for tests, perhaps he can play county to see if he still got it.

  • sifter132 on January 30, 2014, 0:27 GMT

    Not impressed really, although it will warm the hearts of all those who think Hodge has been shafted by selectors in the past. Why pick him now, after possibly his least effective Big Bash? Dare I say it, but I think the answer might be: TICKET SALES!! This season for the Stars Hodge has played 2 good innings out of 8. And how about playing some of the BOWLERS in your squad? They pick 6 bowlers, and then leave 3 of them out...

  • on January 30, 2014, 0:23 GMT

    If the selectors had kept faith this guy we would not have missed Ponting and Husssey as much as we did.

  • porridgemcgee on January 30, 2014, 0:02 GMT

    Any IPL team that decides to purchase Hodge, Wright, White and Bird from the Melbourne Stars will probably walk away winners while spending bargain basement prices.

  • on January 29, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    Struggling to sell tickets at the G, so pick a home town boy who's on a hiding to nothing?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on January 29, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    Struggling to sell tickets at the G, so pick a home town boy who's on a hiding to nothing?

  • porridgemcgee on January 30, 2014, 0:02 GMT

    Any IPL team that decides to purchase Hodge, Wright, White and Bird from the Melbourne Stars will probably walk away winners while spending bargain basement prices.

  • on January 30, 2014, 0:23 GMT

    If the selectors had kept faith this guy we would not have missed Ponting and Husssey as much as we did.

  • sifter132 on January 30, 2014, 0:27 GMT

    Not impressed really, although it will warm the hearts of all those who think Hodge has been shafted by selectors in the past. Why pick him now, after possibly his least effective Big Bash? Dare I say it, but I think the answer might be: TICKET SALES!! This season for the Stars Hodge has played 2 good innings out of 8. And how about playing some of the BOWLERS in your squad? They pick 6 bowlers, and then leave 3 of them out...

  • on January 30, 2014, 0:35 GMT

    I hope lehmann gets him in in all formats, if he's fit enough for tests, perhaps he can play county to see if he still got it.

  • AngryAngy on January 30, 2014, 0:57 GMT

    I don't think much needs to be said other than *gasp*

  • on January 30, 2014, 1:23 GMT

    Great selection by Cricket Australia. It should boost ticket sales at the MCG. Steve Waugh now a chance for the SCG game.

  • Hasun888 on January 30, 2014, 2:02 GMT

    Brad Hodge and Misbah ul Haq...the two men to look out for after the age of 40!!!

  • Insult_2_Injury on January 30, 2014, 2:11 GMT

    Makes sense, no reason that Lee, Hogg, etc aren't considered either, if in form. What doesn't make sense is the way the schedule has been set this season. The Ryobi Cup was two months before the International ODI's. Then Big Bash while Tests being played, then right when BBL is at the pointy end, the players from the top sides who'll play in the finals are taken from their sides to play T20 or already sent to Sth Africa. It's a mess, the best Players aren't playing in the International T20's &/or the culmination of CA's extended investment BBL! No doubt though Warner, Watson, Johnson will be playing IPL right through, but CA can't design a schedule that has it's own contracted players actively playing/ promoting its own competitions to allow the paying public to see its best home grown players in the flesh at BBL level AND also at International T20 level! Final of BBL should have been a week ago, maybe then undefeated Melb Stars wouldn't miss 10 players in finals. CA shoots own feet!

  • on January 30, 2014, 2:17 GMT

    Hodge deserves a chance..if CA gives him a chance nd he stands up to it..CA will luk favorites in T20 WC evnthough thy r crntly #8.. My XI Finch Warner Watson Maxwell Lynn Hodge Bailey Haddin Faulkner Coultner Nail Doherty !