Brad Hogg, the Australian spinner, is relishing the opportunity provided by his recall to the international arena.
Having retired from professional cricket in 2008, the slow bowler made an unlikely return to the game in December 2011 – just two months before his 41st birthday.
Such was Hogg’s success in Australia’s Big Bash that he was then called up to the national side for the T20I series against India last February.
The Chinaman bowler was determined to make the most of his unlikely elevation back into the national side having last featured in an ODI in March 2008.
Hogg said: “There are a few things that have happened over the past few years I didn’t expect to happen. There are a lot of surprises in life. Work hard, stick at it and take the opportunities when they come.”
The left-armer’s role in helping Perth Scorchers to the Final of the 2012 Big Bash caught the eye of the Australia selectors who gave the spinner an offer he couldn’t refuse.
He explained: “I didn’t really have a go at playing for Australia when I had made a comeback for Perth Scorchers until the Test in Perth when one of the selectors came up to me and asked if I was interested. I definitely wasn’t going to knock that back. I went straight back home that night after the Test match and went for a bike ride. I wanted to make sure I was in peak condition.”
Hogg has appeared in five domestic T20 leagues this year, starting in his homeland before moving on to Bangladesh, South Africa, India and Sri Lanka.
Making a quick return with his countrymen, Hogg believes the experience of playing in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) in August will stand him in good stead for the challenges ahead.
“During the SLPL the odd ball turned, but it was a bit two-paced and I quite liked that. If there is no turn and a bit of two-pace in the wicket it is still a good wicket for spinners, with one ball not coming on and the next skidding onto the bat.”
Australia face Ireland followed by the West Indies in Group B of the ICC World T20 with Hogg banking on the experience he and his team-mates have gained recently in the SLPL and during a T20I series in Dubai proving crucial.
Hogg explained: “The WI didn’t come over and play in SLPL. They are not used to these conditions so we have a bit of a head start going into the tournament.
He concluded: “The WI are a huge chance, they have great balance in a T20 side and good all-round ability. They are one of the favourites so I’m looking forward to seeing how they go.”