Royals Legends

Without doubt Brad Hodge must be one of the unluckiest players to have ever graced a cricket field. His prime years came during the era of overwhelming Australian dominance in world cricket, with a team sporting a host of All Time Greats. Consequently, in spite of averaging 55 over the six Tests he played, he was never selected for another long format game for his country. Hodge’s run of poor luck on the international stage extended to ODIs too, he was twice stranded in the nineties – scoring 99 not out and 97 not out. Brad did get to a maiden ODI century in the end, achieving the landmark against the Netherlands in the 2007 World Cup.

Initially Hodge didn’t experience much luck in the IPL either, being part of the Kolkata Knight Riders team who performed poorly in the first two editions, despite his best efforts. However, when the Rajasthan Royals signed him up for the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League, acquiring his services for $475,000 when he set his base price at $200,000, it looked like his fortunes had at last taken a turn in the right direction. In the 2013 IPL season, Brad Hodge had excellent knocks against KKR, Mumbai Indians and RCB. He also played a match-winning innings of 54 runs not out off just 29 balls in the first semi final against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Hodge came in after his team had lost 5 wickets for just 57 runs and successfully chased down 133 runs to win and take Rajasthan Royals into the play-offs. For his performance, he was justifiably awarded the Man of the Match award. In the second semi, against Mumbai, Hodge again scored valuable runs in the first innings, but then, would you credit it, his bad luck returned, and he spilled a skier in the dying stages of the game that could have seen the Royals into the Final…

However some things are more important than luck – and Hodge has the most important attributes of all, humility and integrity. Recently he expressed his solidarity with Indian students in his home state of Victoria in Australia, following racist attacks. He participated in a street match in Melbourne between Victorian Police and Indian students to promote peace. During his time in Royals colours, he was always a senior player that young Rajasthan rookies could look up to and approach for advice, which he would give willingly. For that reason, ‘Hodgey’ will always hold a place in Royals’ hearts.

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