COLOMBO: Australia's Brad Hogg will be the oldest player at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, but the 41-year-old is determined to make the most of his unlikely recall after training hard to get back in shape.
Hogg, a left-arm spinner who played seven Tests and 123 one-day internationals, quit the game four years ago and took up television commentary as a means of keeping in touch with the sport.
But a stint last season in the Australian Big Bash T20 league convinced the national selectors, who were looking for a steady spinner, that Hogg was still good enough to play in the shortest format.
He was called up for two Twenty20 games against India in Sydney and Melbourne in February, and even though he claimed only two wickets in the series, Hogg was picked for the World Twenty20, which begins next week.
“There are always surprises in life,” Hogg told reporters in Colombo on Thursday night. “If you work hard and take the opportunities when they come, you make the most of those opportunities.
“I didn't know I'd play for Australia again when I went to witness the Test in Perth early this year and selectors came up and asked if I was interested.
“I wasn't going to say no. I remember I got back home straight after that Test and I wanted to make sure that I was in peak condition.”
Hogg, part of Australia's World Cup-winning squads in 2003 and 2007, said he had no problem adjusting with young players in the squad – fast bowler Pat Cummins was just three when Hogg made his international debut in 1996.
But he admits there's banter within the squad over his senior status.
“Some of the lads could be old enough to be my sons,” Hogg said.
He added he was determined to help Australia win their first World Twenty20 title.
“I am just enjoying playing cricket and I am very fortunate to play international cricket again,” he said.
“I am happy we won two World Cups. To win a World T20 will cap off everything.”