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Brad Hogg

Brad Hogg

George Bradley Hogg (born 6 February 1971 in Narrogin, Western Australia), known as Brad Hogg, is a retired Australian cricketer. He is primarily a left arm wrist spinner (chinaman) bowler, although he is a handy left-handed batsman as well and is an excellent fielder.

His international career was revitalised after Shane Warne's absence from cricket in 2003 due to suspension from a drugs test and subsequent retirement from one-day cricket. He is Australia's sixth most successful One Day International bowler and second best spinner in terms of wickets taken. He was a member of Australia's victorious 2003 and 2007 Cricket World Cup teams and is one of only 15 players to have won the Cup more than once. He retired from International cricket on 4 March 2008 after the 2007-08 Commonwealth Bank Series.

Early life and career

Hogg grew up on a farm near Williams, Western Australia and is a former pupil of Aquinas College, Perth. Hogg made his first-class cricket and domestic limited overs debut for Western Australia in February 1994 as a middle order batsman. He didn't begin to bowl left-arm wrist-spin until former Australian test leg-spinner Tony Mann asked him to bowl them in the nets as preparation for the batsmen to face NSW spinner David Freedman.

National debut

In 1996, he was selected in the Australian team to tour India as a replacement for Warne who was injured. He made his Test debut against India in Delhi, taking 1/69 and making 1 and 4. He also played seven One Day International matches. However, the belief at the time was that he was merely a place-holder for Warne and he was discarded from the international squad for some time. Hogg was also in and out of the Western Australian squad for the next few years as he struggled to come to terms with unsympathetic pitches and poor returns with the ball. Hogg was absent from the international scene until called up to replace Warne during the 2002-03 VB Series (an annual tri-nations one day tournament in Australia) after Warne injured his shoulder. However, Warne then tested positive to a banned diuretic in a pre-World Cup drugs test, leaving Hogg to play as Australia's specialist spinner in Australia's Cup winning side and has filled that role since, due to Warne's retirement from the one day game.

Hogg was recalled to the Australian Test team to tour the West Indies in April 2003, where he played two matches (making his wait between his first and second Tests of seven years and 78 games the longest for an Australian). He also played against Zimbabwe at the SCG later that year, but was upstaged by part-time chinaman bowler Simon Katich, who took 6/90 for the match (Hogg took 3/119). He was left out of the Test team in 2004 but remained in the national one day team as the preferred spinner to Stuart MacGill. In 2005-06 he became a one-day only player with Western Australian selectors preferring to play young spinner Beau Casson ahead of Hogg in the state's Pura Cup side. However, with Casson's move to New South Wales in 2006-07, Hogg has regained his place in the first-class side. In 2007-08, after a four year layoff, Hogg was recalled to Test cricket to play against India after Stuart MacGill had to withdraw from the team due to suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome in his bowling hand. On 2 January 2008, Hogg scored a Test-career-best 79 as part of a 173-run partnership with Andrew Symonds -- a 7th wicket record for both the Sydney Cricket Ground and Australia vs. India.

Hogg's highest ODI score is 71 not out against England, and his best bowling figures in an innings are 5/32 against the West Indies. Hogg also works as a postman for Australia Post, and is a noted fitness fanatic, scoring the highest beep test result in the Australian team in 2005, with a score of 14.6.

On 27 February 2008 Hogg announced that he will retire from international cricket after the conclusion of the Commonwealth Bank Series. His test career (17 wickets at 54.88) was ultimately unremarkable, but his 156 one-day international wickets at 26.84 coupled with useful lower-order batting placed him among Australia's best one-day players.

Playing style

He is one of the few bowlers who bowls left-arm wrist spin in international cricket. He has an excellent wrong'un and a well-disguised flipper, which he used to bowl Andy Flower, who was then considered to be one of the world's best at playing spin bowling, during the 2003 World Cup. In his book, Walking to Victory, Adam Gilchrist described it as "one of the balls of the tournament." During the 2007 Cricket World Cup Hogg beat Andrew Flintoff with two consecutive wrong'uns, with the second one resulting in Flintoff being given out stumped.

Hogg is well known for his use of his tongue while bowling, poking it out just before he bowls, which is considered his trademark.

Controversy

During the second test against India in Sydney it was alleged that Hogg called the Indian captain Anil Kumble and vice captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni "bastards". Hogg faced a ban of between two and four Test matches after being charged with the level three offence under the International Cricket Council's Code of conduct which refers to abuse by reference to a player's "race, religion, gender, colour, descent, or national or ethic origin." The hearing was set to take place on 14 January in Perth however the BCCI dropped the charges a few days later.

References

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