Veteran trio Brad Hogg, Brad Hodge and Brad Haddin will attempt to show age is no barrier when they appear at this year’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.
A big zit had veteran spinner Brad Hogg feeling like a teenager again, while Brad Hodge is ready to embrace a new kind of fatherly role after earning a dream call-up for Australia’s World Twenty20 title bid in Bangladesh.
Hogg, 43, is set to become the oldest player in the history of international T20 cricket after breaking back into the national set-up when selectors announced the squad for the tournament on Tuesday.
And 39-year-old Hodge’s hot form for the Melbourne Stars proved too hard to resist.
Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin was the other elder statesmen named in the 15-man squad, with the 36-year-old to replace Matthew Wade behind the stumps.
Chris Lynn and Ben Cutting were unlucky to miss out, while allrounder James Faulkner was selected in the expectation he will recover from knee surgery in time for the tournament, beginning on March 16.
George Bailey will lead the squad, with Australia aiming to snare their first ever World T20 title after four unsuccessful attempts.
Hogg, who was named man-of-the-match in the Perth Scorchers’ Big Bash League title win last week, tried to prove he wasn’t so old when he fronted the media on Tuesday with a bandaid hiding a huge pimple on his forehead.
“Sorry guys about the zit. I’m still youthful,” Hogg joked.
“If someone was having dinner tonight watching TV, it wouldn’t be a pleasant experience.”
Hodge is regarded as one of Australia’s greatest ever performers on the domestic front.
But chances in Australia’s Test, one-day and T20 squads have been few and far between, with the prolific batsman all but conceding his international career was over before a shock T20 recall earlier this month.
“I was joking with someone today, saying that it’s a little bit like the icing on the cake,” Hodge said.
“It’s just that the cake’s been in the oven for a very, very long time.
“When you look back (at how the previous regime shunned older players), it hurts a little bit.
“But you can’t do anything about it. You can’t wind the clock back and have another shot at it.
“I’m just happy this opportunity has come around from this regime.”
Spinner James Muirhead is the youngest member of the squad at 20 years of age.
Hodge said he was ready to mentor the talented Victorian during the tournament.
“I have to go away and leave my wife and two kids. It’s only fair that I pick up the slack and father Jimmy while I’m away,” he said.
Hogg could eclipses Kenyan Steve Tikolo (42) as the oldest Twenty20 international in history.
The evergreen spinner had a bit of fun when selector John Inverarity gave him a call to deliver the good news.
“I said, ‘So John, has (Nathan) Lyon gone down? You need another spinner for the Test team do you?’ He said, “don’t get too far ahead of yourself”, Hogg said.
Squad: George Bailey (capt, Hobart Hurricanes), Dan Christian (Brisbane Heat), Nathan Coulter-Nile (Perth Scorchers), James Faulkner (Melbourne Stars), Aaron Finch (Melbourne Renegades), Brad Haddin (Sydney Sixers), Brad Hodge (Melbourne Stars), Brad Hogg (Perth Scorchers), Glenn Maxwell (Melbourne Stars), James Muirhead (Melbourne Stars), Mitchell Johnson (Brisbane Heat), Mitchell Starc (Sydney Sixers), David Warner (Sydney Thunder), Shane Watson (Brisbane Heat), Cameron White (Melbourne Stars).