You are one of a few 40-plus cricketers who are still active. What do you guys have that the 20-year-olds don't?
Smart decisions. Once you get older and wiser, you make smart decisions. Once the pressure is on, experience holds you in good stead.
What is the most difficult thing to do as a 40-year-old?
The hardest is to commit to training. Especially playing T20 [as a freelancer], you are not involved in a group and you have to take it upon yourself to train and make sure you do the right things. When you have a family and kids, you have to get them to school, and so your other commitments become more important.
What one record are you most proud of?
Probably two. One, I was able to make a double-century for Australia. That is a really important milestone I was able to achieve. The other is playing over 250 games in first-class and T20. So for me to be able to maintain those levels for 20 years is pretty special. It just shows that you have been committed and you have been able to succeed, and your skills have lasted a fair amount of time.
I made a big impact in T20. I made significant contributions in competitions like IPL year-in, year-out and I am proud of those achievements.
Would you call yourself a T20 pioneer?
I did play in one of the first ever T20 matches - Leicestershire v Yorkshire in 2003. I would like to think I played a big part in shaping particular people's skills in Australia. Aaron Finch, with whom I used to open the batting - you can see there are some similarities in the way we bat. We have talked about how we go about things. I share a lot of my knowledge playing around the world in T20 leagues and it is well respected. So, yes, I guess I was a little bit of a pioneer. And to represent your country at 39 in T20 is special.
"The game has become a lot more relaxed and slightly boring. A bit of fire has gone out of the game because everyone now plays together in different competitions"
You were the first to 5000 runs in T20 cricket. The format is not a gimmick anymore, is it?
It is pretty funny that we all - Chris Gayle, David Hussey, myself, Brendon McCullum - were neck and neck. It is not a gimmick by any stretch of imagination. In fact, the pressures of playing T20 and the expectations are huge, especially for international players in tournaments like IPL. There are so many good players out there, but you can get recycled pretty quick. So you've got to make sure your standards are high.
What is one thing Hodge can do but Gayle cannot?
(Laughs) Run between the wickets. Chris is such a strong, powerful man - his mishits go for sixes. I would probably think I hit the middle of the bat consistently more often than he does, but his mishits go 75-plus metres. And when he hits it from the middle they go 110 metres. When I hit, they go at most 95 metres. His range and power are different.
What's the safest shot in T20 cricket?
Hitting the bowler over his head with the full face of the bat. Any traditional shot, actually. Remember, there are good bowlers in T20 cricket and they are going to bowl good balls. So technically you need to still have a good defensive shot to deal with those good balls.
You must thank Rahul Dravid for playing you lower down the order in the IPL in 2014?
It was an interesting move. I said to Rahul, "I should bat in the top." He said, "Nah, nah, you should bat in the middle." His exact words to me were that he had never seen anyone able to hit really, really good fast bowling - the Mitchell Johnsons, Dale Steyns - as well as I could. He said in Australia that you are brought up on punishing fast bowling, whereas in India batsmen are taught to punish spin bowling. In T20 all the guys who bowl the last two or three overs usually are good fast bowlers. So his theory was, if you are there on 5, 10, 30, 50 not out, you are going to be more valuable than one of the domestic players. It paid off for sure with Rajasthan Royals.
What's the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on the cricket field?
Once, the drawstring of my pants broke as I was chasing the ball down to the boundary. My pants were hanging down to my ankles - embarrassing but quite funny.
What about injuring yourself while putting on your trousers while playing for Australia in a T20?
Yes! I was just pulling up my pants when I had a back spasm. I fell down and I couldn't play for Australia. I was actually devastated.
Tell us something we don't know about you.
I race cars.
With the back spasms?
The best Ashes?
2005. Edgbaston was pretty special.
Who do you think are the favourites for this Ashes?
Australia will win easily.
What has been your best response to a sledge?
I remember facing Glenn McGrath in domestic cricket. I played and missed a couple of times and Glenn just said: "Come on Hodgy, you're rubbish today." I said: "Who did you expect? Don Bradman." McGrath and Warnie and Muralitharan were the best bowlers I faced.
Do you reckon batting and the way players approach and play cricket overall has changed?
Definitely. And it is not necessarily for the good. The game has become a lot more relaxed and slightly boring. A bit of fire has gone out of the game because everyone now plays together in different competitions. You get to know people and their personalities. And it is very hard to sledge people and get the hardcore sporting atmosphere when your friendships are strong. It is an interesting dynamic you have to get your head around.
Brad Hodge will play for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League starting in June