A master of slow left-arm chinaman bowling and the unpredictable flippers that came off the pitch at uncanny pace, Brad Hogg is truly one of the finest international spinners over a decade.
Born on February 6, 1971, Hogg’s career went through many revamps. He started as a middle order batsman and medium pacer for Western Australia in his initial days, but later switched to chinaman bowling under the guidance of former South African and Zimbabwean test player, John Traicos and former Australian leg spinner, Tony Mann.
He played 99 first class matches, scoring 3992 runs at an average of 35.01 and thrashing 181 wickets. A young quality bowling all-rounder was about to knock the doors of Australian international side with “a wide smile and outwards poking tongue”, which soon became his trademark.
Had Australia not been blessed with one of the best spinners of the world, Shane Warne, Hogg would have worn the Baggy Green far earlier. With injury hampering Warne, Hogg was included as a replacement for the Zimbabwe tour in August 1996 and for the Indian tour in October 1996.
Hogg made his ODI debut in August 1996 against Zimbabwe, while his test debut came against Indian in the December of the same year. He managed to pick up a wicket each in his both the debut matches.
Rise to Glory
Hogg's cricketing trajectory took a sharp upscaling turn when he was drafted in the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup squad after the flagitious exit of Warne who failed a drug test. Hogg took the world by storm as his fizzing balls bamboozled veteran players like Andy Flower.
Hogg went on to take 13 wickets in the tournament with a three-wicket haul against Pakistan in his first World Cup match.
He was the connoisseur of Australian spin bowling in 2003 and 2007 World Cups.
After his initial Test opportunity at Delhi in 1996 Hogg was promptly dumped for the next seven years.
Hogg underwent a series of controversies when he was charged a level three offence under ICC’s code of conduct for calling Indian captain Anil Kumble and vice-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni "bastards". However, he was not charged as the BCCI dropped the charges few days later.
Brad Hogg could not capitalize the consistency which he gained during Caribbean World Cup. After the bashing he received at the hands of the batsmen on the India tour in 2008, Hogg called off his international career in 2008 itself.
Hogg made a sensational comeback to the T20I circuit after a gap of five years, as he was romped into the Australia squad to face India at home after stupendous performances in the Big Bash League of 2011-12.
In the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League, he was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals. His performances helped him bag a lucrative contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders in eighth edition of IPL.
At 41, he became the oldest Australian cricketer to have been named in a World Cup squad after he was picked for the 2012 ICC World Twenty20. He updated this very record of his, when he was named in the Australian squad of ICC World Twenty20 in 2014 at the age of 43.