Andrew John Hodd
January 12, 1984, Chichester, West Sussex
Right hand bat
Bexhill High School; Bexhill College; Loughborough University
When Andrew Hodd joined Yorkshire on a two-year contract at the end of the 2012 season he had every reason to wish Jonny Bairstow a long and successful England career. A talented wicketkeeper-batsman, he had arrived at Headingley in August as temporary cover for Bairstow behind the stumps but impressed enough for Yorkshire to offer to supplant his loan deal with a permanent arrangement.
It all worked out rather well. He played nine Championship matches in his introductory season and as the summer nights drew in, Yorkshire's coach Jason Gillespie was cooing that he was one of the best glovemen in the country. Bairstow had to produce an avalanche of Championship runs before England gave him regular opportunities at Test level, but Hodd still had his moments as an occasional stand-in in Yorkshire's back-to-back Championship wins and then, in 2016, managed 12 Championship games in a season where they lost the title to Middlesex on the final day. His unbeaten 96 in a sterling recovery against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough represented his best effort for Yorkshire with the bat.
In limited-overs cricket, though, his opportunities became limited, and with Bairstow absent with England in 2017, opted instead for overseas signings in Peter Handscomb and Sarfraz Ahmed.
Uncertainty caused by somebody else's England ambitions was a familiar scenario for Hodd. He began his career at Hove, then moved to Surrey, but was tempted back to the south coast in 2006 to act as Matt Prior's understudy following the departure for Warwickshire of Tim Ambrose.
In the event, the timing worked perfectly for him. Prior made a century on his England Test debut against the West Indies the following summer and Hodd seized his chance with Sussex, scoring his first two first-class centuries in a tally of 628 runs from 14 matches as well as demonstrating his competence with the gloves. One of the highlights, by coincidence, was a career-best 123 against Yorkshire at Hove.
Prior dropped out of England's five-day side in 2008, which a knock-on effect for Hodd, who was limited to only three Championship appearances, but regained his place in 2009. Hodd enjoyed another successful season as first-choice for Sussex but after a relatively poor time in 2010 he found his own position under threat from the up-and-coming Ben Brown.
At the time of joining Yorkshire on loan, he had not played in the Championship for 13 months. It was a frustrating state of affairs for Hodd, who had toured Australia with England at U-17 and U-19 level and whose batting standards - by no means absent - would have been regarded as perfectly adequate in an earlier era.
ESPNcricinfo - January 2014
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