Spinner Hogg seizes the day

Brad Hogg sat, full of beans as usual and tapping the table with his fingers, as he waited for his interview session with the world’s cricket media to start.

Despite looking as fit as a trout at the age of 41, the livewire Australia spin bowler was constantly reminded he was the oldest player in the tournament.

Did the modern music bother him? Can he still field okay?

Hogg finally cracked in the seventh minute, but the West Australian delivered his response with a smile on his face.

“Is your fitness a concern? You are the oldest guy in the team and there are youngsters all around you?”, a chubby reporter asked.

Hogg said: “You should look at yourself with your fitness, hey? Do you want to come down to the gym with me or not?”

A Champions Trophy-winner and two-time World Cup winner in the 50-over game, Hogg is confident he can add to his collection with the World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka.

“I still think I’m fairly quick around the field when I’m fielding, but I look at some footage and I start to realise I’m a little bit slower,” he grinned.

The diminutive ex-postie still loves getting on his bike, going for training rides by Perth’s Swan River.

He says when he made a comeback for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League — in a fairytale effort that included 13 wickets at 14.69 — he had no ambitions to represent Australia again.

But opportunity knocked.

Australia T20 captain George Bailey and coach Mickey Arthur see Hogg as a major wicket-taking option through the middle overs with his well-disguised wrong-uns.

“That youthful exuberance is something that’s absolutely gold,” Bailey added.

Arthur was the man who offered Hogg the chance to play for the Scorchers last summer.

“He’s 41 going on 18,” Arthur says.

Hogg, who often bowls with his tongue hanging out, keeps people guessing on and off the field.

“The Australian guys are still trying to work me out on a personal level as well,” Hogg said.

“Some (teammates) are probably old enough to be my sons.

“But it’s just a normal changing room. With the Scorchers it only took two minutes on the team bus for me to feel part of it again. Nothing had changed.

“They were still taking the micky out of me.”

Hogg retired in 2008 after playing 123 one-day internationals and seven Tests. Now he’s made a comeback for personal reasons and on September 19 against Ireland he’ll add to his tally of six T20 Internationals.

“I missed the game and my fiancee (Cheryl Bresland) said if I wanted to go back and play cricket then go back and play,” Hogg said.

“I know my time’s limited.”

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