Despite topping the run-scorer's list in the domestic one-day series this summer with 494 runs at 82.33, Hodge was omitted from the 14-man squad for today's opening one-day international against England in Melbourne. Just as mysterious have been Hodge's repeated setbacks at the national selection table over an 18-year domestic career that has netted 17,084 first-class runs at an average of 48.81.
I said to Courtney that the only way to get their attention was for him to bowl to me at top pace and show them how good and quick he was! Well, it didn't take long to get their attention. Courtney's second ball ricocheted off my neck, which led to a lot of laughter - much to my displeasure! Once they saw how quick Courtney was, they all just wanted to bowl bouncers and let 'em go. They had a ball.
It was my greatest time in coaching cricket. We drove out of the community at sunset, watching tennis balls flying everywhere, spotting kids off massive long runs hurling bouncers at kids who wanted to take them on. As I quickly glanced at Courtney to say what a great job he'd done, I noticed a tear appear on the great man's face. Enough said.
Peter English is former Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo