Perth Scorchers spinner Brad Hogg turns 43 on Thursday and he remains one of the big stories in the Big Bash League.
Reflecting on his career revival this week, Hogg said he wants to play Twenty20s for at least two more years and is showing no signs of slowing down more than 20 years on from his Sheffield Shield debut.
The left-arm tweaker remains a fan favourite at the WACA, with his performances helping the Scorchers reach the BBL finals for a third straight year.
Hogg retired in 2008 with seven Tests, 123 ODIs and two T20Is to his name.
But a successful return with the Scorchers in 2011 saw Hogg recalled to the international set-up in 2012 for Australia’s T20 World Cup campaign in Sri Lanka.
Hogg remains in the picture for a gig at this year’s World Cup in Bangladesh, but he says it might be better for Australian cricket if James Muirhead beats him for a spot.
The 20 year old Muirhead impressed in his three T20s against England this month, claiming four wickets at an average of 16 to help Australia win the series 3-0.
The Victorian has the potential to become a key player for Australia over the next decade, and Hogg doesn’t want to delay Muirhead’s progress if selectors believe the youngster’s ready for a World Cup berth.
“I’d love to be able to go and represent my country again. If selected, I’d give 100 per cent,” Hogg said.
“But if someone youthful is doing the job, I’d go for them over someone like myself.
“I think Muirhead’s bowling extremely well at the present moment.
“He’s going to be a class act down the track.
“He’s still a little bit raw obviously. He’s got a bit to learn.
“But the way that he’s handled the pressure over the last three games has been exceptional.
“It shows that he doesn’t just have the talent with the fingers, he’s also got the talent upstairs as well.”
Hogg looms as a key figure for the Scorchers in Wednesday night’s BBL semi-final against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG.
The proud West Australian recently celebrated the 20-year anniversary of his Shield debut, and he remembers it like it was yesterday.
“I remember I was padded up ready to go out to bat, and I went toilet about eight times in 10 minutes before I got out to the middle,” Hogg said with a laugh.
“I was that nervous.
“I came over to Perth as an opening bowler and then ended up playing Shield cricket as a batsman, and now represented my country as a spin bowler.
“My career’s had an interesting progress.”
Hogg doesn’t want his roller coaster ride to end just yet, claiming his body feels fresh and ready to handle a few more years in T20 ranks.
“Mentally and physically I feel like I’m 21 again,” Hogg said.
“I want to go on for as long as I possibly can.
“The way I’m feeling now, I think probably another two (years).”
Hogg is well loved by his teammates, with his pranks, jokes and verbal gaffes providing plenty of laughs.
“He’s still a 14-year-old kid in a nearly 43-year-old’s body,” Scorchers veteran Adam Voges says with a smile.
THE CRICKET CAREER OF BRAD HOGG
*Tests: 7 (17 wickets at 54.88)
*ODIs: 123 (156 wickets at 26.84)
*T20Is: 12 (5 wickets at 61.60)
*50-over World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007
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