Hoggard glad to be back

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Last Updated: 11/05/08 4:01pm

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Hoggard: not finished yet

Hoggard: not finished yet

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Matthew Hoggard was delighted after being recalled to England's squad for the first Test against New Zealand.

"If I hadn't been in the squad that could have been the end of me."
Matthew Hoggard Quotes of the week

The Yorkshire seamer, 31, is England's sixth highest wicket taker of all-time with 248 in 67 Tests, but was dropped after a below-par display in the first-Test defeat during the tour to New Zealand in March.

Hoggard remained on the sidelines for the remainder of that series as England turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 series win.

But an impressive start to the domestic summer for Yorkshire has prompted the selectors to include him in a 12-man squad for the first Test of the summer, which starts at Lord's on May 15.

"I just fight like a dog," Hoggard told Sky Sports News after learning of his recall on Sunday.

"There's two ways - you either accept it, roll over and die; or you fight for your place.

"And I don't really like rolling over and dying, so I have been fighting for my place.

"I worked hard in New Zealand. I've been working hard while I've been back in England and hopefully I have put in the right amount of work and had the right attitude to show them that I still want to play for England, I'm desperate to play for England and I want to put the Three Lions on when I get to Lord's."

Confident

Asked if he was nervous ahead of the announcement, Hoggard responded: "Not really. I was hoping I was going to get in the squad.

"I thought I had done enough to stay in the squad. If I hadn't been in the squad that could have been the end of me."

England won the final two Tests in New Zealand with a seam bowling attack of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ryan Sidebottom, supplemented by Monty Panesar's left-arm spin.

Those four bowlers have also retained their places in the 12-man squad and Hoggard is realistic enough to know he could be carrying the drinks at Lord's.

"I know there is a long way to go," he added. "The 11 that finished in New Zealand finished with two winning Tests.

"I need to keep knocking on the door but I think they are in the driving seat.

"Obviously I am quite capable of starting at Lord's - if you look at my record I have done alright in the past.

"But they are the men in possession at the moment. Jimmy (Anderson) is bowling really well - he's just had a five for against Durham.

"The other lads (Nottinghamshire's Broad and Sidebottom) we played against at Headingley and they are bowling well, so it is a headache for the selectors.

"I think it is good for English cricket that so many players are vying for not so many places."

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