Foxes Flashback - Brad Hodge
Brad Hodge (29th December 1974)
Brad played for Leicestershire during only three seasons, and though he broke many batting records in red ball cricket, he will probably be remembered as one of the early great exponents of T20 cricket.
In just 31 first class matches for Leicestershire he scored 3,043 runs, with 10 centuries, the highest being the 302* he scored against Notts at Trent Bridge. This was the county’s highest individual innings until broken by HD Ackerman, three years later. In all he scored more than 200 five times for Leicestershire (the record), and his 262 against Durham in 2004 is the highest by a Leicestershire batsman at Grace Road.
Turning to T20 cricket, he scored 955 runs for Leicestershire with a top score of 103. He top scored in the 2003 semi final with 66 (which Leicestershire lost). He made up for it the following year with a cool 77 not out which saw Leicestershire home against Surrey and their first T20 success. In fact for the next dozen years he was a firm favourite when it came to building a T20 team and he played for no less than 17 different sides around the world in this format. His reputation being that he was a cool finisher, vital in T20 cricket.
He left Leicestershire in 2004 to join Lancashire, possibly because he felt that playing for a side based at a test match ground he would gain selection for Australia more often. One of the great mysteries is why a player of his ability should play so little international cricket.
Six test matches, 25 one day internationals and 15 T20 internationals seem modest recognition for someone of his abilities. Few test batsmen have averaged more than his 55, and a top score of 203 against South Africa suggests he had the temperament. The answer is probably that though he had a fantastic first season of first class cricket in Australia, he then had seven quite moderate years. By the time he was selected he was over 30 years old and Australia have generally opted for youth.
In recent years Brad has frequently appeared as a commentator on Australian TV, and on British screens when ‘Big Bash’ matches are covered.
Richard Holdridge - Club Historian