Brad Hodge joins the Zebras
In one of the biggest signings in suburban cricket for many years, Australian test cricketer Brad Hodge has joined East Sandringham Boys Cricket Club for season 2015/2016.
It is an announcement which has been months in the planning for East Sandringham President Jamie Ross and his team;
"There have been a number of meetings both with Brad as well as internally within the club to make this happen. We were absolutely over the moon when Brad made contact to confirm his decision to join the club and we are even more excited about what the future holds for this cricket club." Ross said.
Hodge will join East Sandringham not just as a player, but to also assist in the development of junior players within the club, allowing them to reach their full potential as cricketers.
"We are not just looking to develop our juniors into 1st XI cricketers for East Sandringham, we want our kids to reach the highest level, hopefully to one day pull on the baggy green, and there is no better person to be able to give advice to young cricketers wishing to fulfil their potential than Brad Hodge." Ross said.
Hodge played 6 test for Australia, amassing 503 runs with an average of 55.88, including a double century (203*) for Australia in Perth against South Africa in 2005, on the back of consistently good cricket for the Victorian Bushrangers. Since that time he has played IPL for Rajasthan Royals and more recently with Melbourne Renegades and Adelaide Strikers in the KFC Big Bash league.
ESBCC proudly boasts itself as the club where Shane Warne, arguably the world's greatest ever spin bowler, learnt his craft as a junior.
Hodge, born and bred Bayside, currently resides in Hampton. His son has played Milo Cricket with East Sandringham will this season play in the U/12’s. Brad also keeps a keen eye on the Hampton Rovers during football season, where a number of East Sandringham cricketers play.
Hodge received a number of offers from various cricket clubs at various levels, but chose East Sandringham for a number of reasons;
"Through my involvement with East Sandringham’s Milo Cricket program, I have got to know a few of the senior players. East Sandringham is not just a great club with a long proud history of success, it is a club which is also very committed to developing junior crickets to be the best they can be. Jamie Ross is determined for the club to continue to succeed both on and off the field. I love the local rivalries which exist in the SECA competition and I love how a majority of the opposition clubs are within arm’s reach of Sandringham. These are all major reasons as to why I chose to join the mighty Zebras. I can't wait for the season to get underway."
"I've had the privilege of being able to pull on the baggy green and represent Australia at international level. I think that it's so important put back into community cricket. Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia have some world leading pathway programs for young cricketers to develop and I'd love nothing more than to help young East Sandringham cricketers enter into those programs" Hodge said.
East Sandringham Club Captain Mark Devereaux is bursting at the seams at the thought of taking to the field with Hodge;
"I was lucky enough to play in the Twenty20 when Shane Warne played a one-off with us a couple of years ago and that was one of the highlights of my sporting life, but to have Brad pulling on the whites with us each week is going to be unbelievable." Devereaux said.
"We have got some super talented juniors coming through, some of which have already had a taste of senior cricket. For those kids to have the privilege of being able learn from a world class cricketer right here on Chisholm Reserve, is just amazing." Devereaux said.