Sport

Spinner want to deliver a first

BRAD Hogg used to deliver mail for a living.

Now the veteran spinner is hoping to help deliver a trophy Australia's never won - the Twenty20 World Cup.

The 41-year-old West Australian will be the oldest player in action when the tournament starts in Sri Lanka tonight, but age is no problem.

Just ask Aussie coach Mickey Arthur - he's the man who offered Hogg a lifeline last summer by giving him the chance to play for the Perth Scorchers in the inaugural Big Bash League.

"He's 41 going on 18," Arthur said with a laugh.

But Hogg is no laughing matter when he has the ball in his hands.

Four years after retiring, Hogg, who played 123 ODIs and seven Tests, took 13 wickets at 14.69 in his fairytale comeback season with the Scorchers. National selectors were impressed and came knocking.

His return to the international stage, combined with his domestic form, has seen him become the leading Twenty20 wicket-taker in the world this year with an impressive 42 wickets. He has conceded just 6.28 runs per over as well.

Hogg's rich vein of form continued when he took 3-23 in Australia's 56-run win in their warm-up game against New Zealand in Colombo last weekend.

Australia faces Ireland in its opening Group B match in Colombo at 7.50pm AEST tomorrow and Hogg, who was part of Australia's World Cup-winning squads in the 50-over per team version of the game in 2003 and 2007, said he was determined to help win the elusive Twenty20 trophy.

"I am just enjoying playing cricket and I am very fortunate to be playing international cricket again," Hogg, who has also played for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and Wayamba in the Sri Lanka Premier League this year, said. "To win this tournament will cap everything off."

The tournament starts tonight with Sri Lanka playing Zimbabwe at 11.50pm AEST.

Australian Squad: George Bailey (captain), David Warner, Shane Watson, Matthew Wade, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Cameron White, Dan Christian, Glenn Maxwell, Brad Hogg, Xavier Doherty, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Ben Hilfenhaus.

Group A - England, India, Afghanistan
Group B - West Indies, Australia, Ireland
Group C - South Africa, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe
Group D - Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan

Topics:  twenty20 world cup



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