Veteran Brad Hogg back into Aussie team

GREG BUCKLE
Last updated 19:23 07/09/2012
Brad Hogg
Reuters
PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE: 41-year-old Brad Hogg is back in the Australian T20 team for the second game against Pakistan.

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Brad Hogg was as happy as he'd ever been in his life in 2011 and then his career in big-time cricket took off again.

Things just got better.

The 41-year-old divorcee and father of two has a new life partner, Cheryl Bresland, with whom he runs a celebrity speaker agency in Perth.

But his business commitments have been put on hold because the left-arm slow bowler with the ever-present grin made such a success of his comeback in the Big Bash League (BBL) last summer that he's back in the Australian Twenty20 side for the World Cup to be played in Sri Lanka starting on September 18.

Hogg was also included in Australia's squad for a three-game T20 series against Pakistan in Dubai and after being overlooked for game one, the West Australian has replaced fellow spinner Xavier Doherty for Friday night's second match.

"I feel very comfortable within myself," Hogg said on Thursday.

"I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life (since) just before I came back and played for the Scorchers.

"I'm having a whale of a time off the field over the last year-and-a-half and that comes into your cricket.

"If you've got a good balance in life, it's amazing how well you perform out in the middle."

The diminutive spinner was an unlikely star for BBL team Perth Scorchers last summer, after retiring in 2008.

He'd played a bit of grade cricket in Perth in 2010-11 and tongues started wagging.

The dual one-day World Cup-winner received a phone call from Western Australia coach Mickey Arthur, who's now in charge of the national side.

"Mickey said 'Are you interested in playing the Twenty20 format?'," Hogg said.

"I actually said 'If you're that keen, I'm interested in playing one-dayers and the four-day stuff if Michael Beer gets picked for Australia'.

"He didn't warm to that. But it's great to be back.

"I'm very fortunate. I'm just glad I stayed fit over those years."

Hogg says his deliveries are still coming out of the hand okay, and his 10 wickets in nine Indian Premier League games in 2012 is further evidence of that statement.

However the former postie has claimed only two wickets at an average of 51.00 in four T20 Internationals. He says his IPL experiences have been extremely helpful, taking on thrashing machines like India's Virender Sehwag.

"I definitely keep learning. The couple of years that I had off and did a bit of commentary, I learnt a lot there," Hogg said.

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"Coming back as a player, I've even learnt more."

- AAP

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