The 6' 2" Hoggard is a right arm fast-medium bowler and right-handed batsman. He plays county cricket for Yorkshire and was first selected for the England cricket team in 2000, playing both Test cricket and One Day International cricket. However, in recent years he has been mainly viewed as a Test specialist by the England selectors, getting few opportunities in the shorter format.
Matthew Hoggard is a specialist orthodox swing bowler, and usually takes the new ball for England in Test cricket. Hoggard's primary role in the team is to utilise the shine on the new ball to test the technique of top-order batsmen against the swinging delivery. If, due to pitch or atmospheric conditions, the new ball does not swing he can be ineffective..Hoggard is seen as the consistent bowler in the team. Hoggard also has a sound defensive batting technique, but is not known for scoring runs, averaging only 7.40 with the bat. He can block up an end for the batsman at the other end to score, and is also used as a nightwatchman.
Hoggard began his cricketing journey at his local team, the famous Bradford League club, Pudsey Congs CC.
Hoggard was initially brought into the England side under the wings of Nasser Hussain and Duncan Fletcher in 2000. He was brought into the NatWest Series as a replacement for the injured Andrew Caddick. Having only played two tests, Hoggard led the attack during England's 2001—2002 tour of India, and later took 7/63 against New Zealand. He then suffered an "horrific" winter tour of Australia at the hands of Matthew Hayden.
In the 4th Test Match of the series in South Africa in January 2005 Hoggard took 12 wickets for 205. Of Englishmen, only Johnny Wardle, who took 12 for 89 in Cape Town in 1956-7, has bettered his figures in South Africa since World War II. His match figures were England's best anywhere since Ian Botham's 13 for 106 against India in 1979-80. During the 2005 Ashes series, Hoggard scored 8 not out with Ashley Giles against Australia in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge in the 2005 Ashes series, which included a well-executed cover drive for four off a Brett Lee full toss, as England won by three wickets by reaching 129 to take a 2-1 series lead.
In the 2006 New Year's Honours List Hoggard was awarded the MBE for his role in the successful Ashes tournament. He was also named as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in April 2006. On 6 March 2006, Hoggard was officially ranked the 4th best Test match bowler in the world. This was as a result of his Man of the Match performance for England against India in the First Test match at Nagpur in March, 2006. On 13 May 2006 he became the tenth England bowler to take 200 Test wickets.
During the Second Ashes Test at Adelaide in December 2006, Hoggard took 8 wickets in the match, with first innings figures of 7/109, in very unfavourable bowling and especially swing bowling conditions, though England still lost. Hoggard missed the fifth test in Sydney with a side-strain. It ended a run of 40 consecutive tests. As of July 2007, Hoggard was sixth in the list of all-time English Test wicket-takers with 240 from 64 matches.
Hoggard performed well in the opening two warm up matches at the start of England's tour of Sri Lanka. In the second of these, against the Sri Lanka Cricket President's XI, Hoggard took 5-25 in a match that saw Steve Harmison and James Anderson fall foul of injuries.
He said on 18 July 2008 on Five Live's Test Match Special programme, that he believes he will not play for England again after being left out of the Test squads against both New Zealand and South Africa.
In May 2007 Hoggard's wife Sarah gave birth to a baby boy called Ernie, weighing in at 7 lbs 10 oz.