Brad Hodge has been picked in the Prime Minister’s XI to face England in Canberra next week, as he pushes for an international recall.
Brad Hodge’s chances of reviving his international career at the World Twenty20 have received a boost, with the veteran batsman selected in the Prime Minister’s XI to face England in Canberra on Tuesday.
The 39-year-old hasn’t played an international for six years but his form for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League and the Royals in the Champions League have him in line for a belated call-up to the Australian squad for the T20 tournament starting in March in Bangladesh.
Hodge is the most senior player in the Prime Minister’s squad which will take on an England XI in a 50-over day-nighter at Manuka Oval on January 14.
The side is captained by another veteran, in Sydney Sixers star Brett Lee – who is retired from all international cricket.
Selectors have picked a strong team which also features fast bowlers Jackson Bird and Ben Cutting.
Bird is a chance to tour with the Test side to South Africa next month after bouncing back from injury, while big-hitting Queenslander Cutting is odds on to help lead Australia’s charge at the World T20.
Promising spinners James Muirhead and Clive Rose and damaging batsmen Chris Lynn and Luke Pomersbach have also been picked, as well as some of the best talent from the ACT.
Chris Rogers and Brad Haddin proved at 36 years of age during the Ashes series that age is no barrier.
Hodge will go down as one of the unluckiest Australian players of all time, having played just six Test matches despite averaging 55 and scoring more than 17,000 first-class.
However, even as his years have advanced, Hodge has shown in the shorter form he can hit a ball as clean as anyone – and Melbourne teammate David Hussey has demanded selectors pay attention.
National selector John Inverarity said Hodge and Lee had plenty to still offer Australian cricket.
“This match is a special fixture on the Australian cricketing calendar. Brett Lee and Brad Hodge bring leadership and experience to the team and will be great drawcards,” Inverarity said.
“Chris Lynn has been in excellent form this season in all forms of the game. Jackson Bird is recovering well from injury and we are keen to increase his workload.
“We have also been pleased with the progress of left-arm orthodox spinner Clive Rose, who has performed well for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield.”
Prime Minister’s XI: Brett Lee (capt) NSW, Jackson Bird TAS, Ben Cutting QLD, Peter Handscomb (wk) VIC, Brad Hodge VIC, Chris Lynn QLD, Alister McDermott QLD, James Muirhead VIC, Luke Pomersbach QLD, Clive Rose TAS, Michael Spaseski ACT, Shane Devoy (12th man) ACT