Hodge ready to call time
Brad Hodge is close to retiring from first-class cricket after failing to feature in Australia's Test team on a regular basis.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 30/11/09 5:36pm
Australia batsman Brad Hodge has admitted he is close to retiring from first-class cricket after failing to stamp down a regular place in the Test team.
The 34-year-old has played just six Tests since making his debut in 2005 and will play two more Sheffield Shield games before ending his career in the four-day game.
Hodge, who has had spells with Durham, Leicestershire and Lancashire in English county cricket, has vented his frustration at being used solely as a fill-in batsman for captain Ricky Ponting.
Indeed, Hodge averages 55.88 at the highest level and has scored one double century and two fifties during his short Test career.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Hodge believes now is the time for him to sacrifice first-class cricket in order to spend more time with his wife and children.
"After a number of years weighing up cricket versus family, I reckon family might have won this battle," he said.
"I guess it came down to lack of opportunities to play Test cricket again. I was just a fill-in for Ricky Ponting if something went wrong. I guess that wasn't enough of an excuse for me.
"I've always wanted to play Test cricket for as long as I can, but what's the difference if I get one more Test now? I want to play 30 or more, but that's not going to happen."
Hodge will continue to play limited-overs cricket for Victoria and IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, and hopes to regain his place in the national team in the shorter forms of the game.
"In a way it's a way to lengthen my career rather than shorten it," he added. "It's my last-ditch effort to make the Australian World Twenty20 side."