What’s the story?
Veteran Australian batsman Brad Hodge has decided to withdraw from the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) due to family issues. Interestingly, he pulled himself out hours after Quetta Gladiators drafted him to step in for Carlos Brathwaite. The franchise acted swiftly and named Bangladeshi batsman Mahmudullah as his replacement.
An official, privy to the development, said, “This is an unfortunate situation. But unavoidable family circumstances have forced 42-year-old T20 specialist Brad Hodge to not participate in the league.” Quetta shared their prayers with Hodge and unveiled Mahmudullah’s signing on their Twitter handle.
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Hodge turned out for Peshawar Zalmi in the inaugural PSL edition and scored 93 runs from 4 matches including a half-century. Despite his age, the seasoned campaigner is still going strong in T20 leagues across the globe. He had ended the 2016/17 Big Bash League as the seventh highest run-getter.
The heart of the matter
Quetta have been struggling to replace West Indies T20I skipper Brathwaite who ruled himself out due to national commitments. Though they tried to bring in Moeen Ali, the England all-rounder withdrew from the tournament in order to take a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.
With Hodge now ruled out as well, the franchise have opted for Mahmudullah. Apart from being a middle-order batsman, his handy off-spin is well-suited to the shortest format. As a matter of fact, his death-overs bowling won quite a few games for Khulna Titans in the 2016 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
The 2017 PSL edition is scheduled to begin from February 9. Having finished runners-up in the inaugural season, the Sarfraz Ahmed-led Quetta will be looking to go one better this time around. As for Hodge, the IPL should be his next assignment. He coaches Gujarat Lions in the cash-rich tournament.
In the replacement draft which took place earlier, Quetta picked up the services of all-rounders Mohammad Nabi, Thisara Perera and Nathan McCullum. Even though Hodge’s experience could be missed, Mahmudullah gives them another utility option.