Brad2 Brad Hodge, born December 29, 1974, is perhaps one of the unluckiest batsmen of his generation. His legacy will forever be his successful transformation from a classical First-Class batsman to a masterful T20 player. Shiamak Unwalla reveals 10 interesting things about the man who, very sadly and unfairly, played far too little for his country. 1. Talent and misfortune Every country in world cricket has that one player who would have made the cut had he been born in a different era. For Australia, that man is Bradley John Hodge. Had he been born in another country or another era, he could well have played 100 Tests for his country. Unfortunately for him, he was a contemporary of the likes of Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Michel Clarke, Michael Hussey, and Andrew Symonds. Hodge played 223 First-Class matches, scoring over 17,000 at an average of 48.81 runs with 51 centuries. He scored 60 on his Test debut, and three matches later scored an unconquered 203 not out at Perth against a South African attack comprising of Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Charl Langeveldt, and Andre Nel. He was dropped after two Tests and did not play another for two years. When he finally did play, he scored 67 and 27, and was dropped again; this time for good. He scored 503 runs at an average of 55.88 in six Tests. 2. T20 player par excellence Apart from playing T20 cricket for Australia, Hodge has appeared for domestic T20 teams all over the world. He has played for Indian Premier League (IPL) teams Kolkata Knight Riders, Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Rajasthan Royals, Australian teams Victoria, Melbourne Renegades, Adelaide Strikers, and Melbourne Stars, Kiwi teams Northern Districts, Auckland, and Wellington, county teams Leicestershire and Lancashire, Bangladesh Premier League team Barisal Burners, and Sri Lankan Premier League team Basnahira Cricket Dundee. He was slated to play for the St. Lucia Zouks in Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2014, but was forced out due to an injury. 3. T20 batting legend Hodge was once the leading run-scorer in all T20 cricket, but retired as the second-highest run-scorer, behind only Chris Gayle. Hodge scored 6,343 runs in 232 matches at an average of 36.87. He hit 42 half-centuries, which is the second most in the format, again behind Gayle. 4. Family man Hodge and his wife Megan are the proud parents of two; their son Jesse is three years older than their daughter Sophie. One of the reasons Hodge chose to give up First-Class cricket in favour of T20 was his family. T20 cricket gives you a good chance to spend time with the kids. In the pursuit of trying to represent Australia, I missed the first two years of my son s life. I felt I shouldn t do the same thing to my daughter, especially because I realised that playing for Australia was never going to happen again, Hodge told Wisden Indiain an interview. 5. Player and coach After a successful First-Class and T20 career, Hodge turned his focus to coaching in 2014. He was appointed as the coach for the Adelaide Strikers in the 2014 Big Bash League, while also mentoring his son s team, East Sandringham under-8s. Speaking to Herald Sun, Hodge said, It s the T20 Blast programme for six to eight-year-olds. I train them Wednesday night and they play Saturday mornings, my commitment is probably more towards Jesse now than myself. 6. Player and philosopher Most players might have been bitter at having played only six Tests and 25 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), but Hodge is cut from a finer cloth. I am privileged to have played with that group of players [Australia] as well. Life is interesting. There was a time when I thought it was the most important thing in life is playing for Australia, but it s not. There are a lot of other things that contribute to your life and make you the person you are, said Hodge to Wisden India in an interview. 7. Player and administrator Hodge is currently pursuing an MBA in sports management, and hopes to turn to administration after his playing days. He told Wisden India, I have two subjects left to finish off my MBA in sports management. It is probably something I will do seriously. Whether it s with cricket or AFL [Australian Football League] or tennis or rugby I don t know. I love cricket. But administration is something that appeals to me. 8. Not so much Allan Border as Dennis Lillee As a child, Hodge idolised Dennis Lillee, and wanted to be a fast bowler rather than a batsman. According to The Australian, Hodge said, When I was a young kid playing under-12s for Moorabbin, running around having some fun, playing cricket, all I wanted to do was pull on the baggy green. I wanted to be not so much Allan Border, but Dennis Lillee. Unfortunately I’m only 5ft 7 1/2 and can’t really grow a moustache. Being a fast bowler’s not going to be my style. 9. The epiphany It was during one of his last few innings that Hodge had an epiphany that changed his life. During an innings of 195 against South Australia, he hit pace bowler Peter George bowling with the secondnew ball over his head for six. In doing so, Hodge realised, in his own words, the commitment to knuckle down and get through that second new ball wasn’t there. He announced his retirement from First-Class cricket at the end of the season. 10. “Dodgeball” Hodge, like most Australian cricketers, has a nickname. He is called Dodgeball by his friends. (Shiamak Unwalla is a proud Whovian and all-round geek who also dabbles in cricket writing as a reporter with CricketCountry. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)