Hogg back from the wilderness
BRAD Hogg retired from international cricket four years ago.
Now the 41-year-old spin bowler, who starred for the Perth Scorchers during the Big Bash League last summer is about to try and help Australia win the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka next month.
Hogg, a veteran of seven Tests and 123 ODIs, will become the oldest cricketer to play for Australia at a World Cup after he was named in the 15-man squad yesterday.
Off-spinning all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is the only uncapped member of the squad.
Australia reached the final of the last World Cup in the West Indies in 2010 before losing to England and national selector John Inverarity feels the squad has the balance to give Australia every chance of going far in the competition once more.
"A real strength of the squad is its flexibility and versatility," Inverarity said. "It's a well-balanced side that will provide the captain, George Bailey, with plenty of options in both the batting line-up and bowling possibilities.
"The seam bowling has depth with Clint McKay, Pat Cummins, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitch Starc along with all-rounders Shane Watson and Dan Christian, and to a lesser extent Michael Hussey, who could be useful for an occasional over or two.
"Similarly there is depth in the spin bowling department with Brad Hogg, Xavier Doherty and also all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and David Hussey. You can then add to that the possibility of the wrist spin of Cameron White and David Warner.
"There is a great deal of explosive strike power in the batting line-up that could see Matthew Wade at six, Cameron White at seven and either Dan Christian or Glenn Maxwell at eight. There is also a good blend of left and right handers with David Warner, Michael Hussey and Wade likely to be in the top seven."
Australia has been grouped with the West Indies and Ireland in the first stage of the tournament, with its first match against Ireland on September 19 in Colombo.
The women's Twenty20 World Cup will also be contested in Sri Lanka next month with the Australian women, the Southern Stars, trying to defend the title it won after beating New Zealand two years ago.
The Stars get started against India on September 27 in at Galle.
Australian World Cup Squad: George Bailey (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), Dan Christian, Patrick Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hogg, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Cameron White.
Women: Jodie Fields (captain), Alex Blackwell (vice-captain), Jess Cameron, Sarah Coyte, Lauren Ebsary, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Julie Hunter, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Leah Poulton, Lisa Sthalekar