Brad Hodge spanked 72 not out from 51 balls to give the Melbourne Renegades victory on Monday night.MELBOURNE _ Shane Warne was asked what Melbourne Stars needed to get back on the winners’ list and he said someone like Brad Hodge would be handy.
Nanjing Night Net

The 37-year-old Hodge, mysteriously overlooked for national selection for many summers, is showing the kind of form Australia need at the top of the order for the Twenty20 world titles in Sri Lanka in September.

Of course, Hodge _ who has scored 44 and 72 not out in his two games so far for Melbourne Renegades _ will probably be ignored again.

But a look at some of the better performers in the Big Bash League throws up some of cricket’s forgotten names, like Hobart Hurricanes batsman Phil Jaques and Renegades wicketkeeper Graham Manou, both former Test players from New South Wales and South Australia respectively.

Jaques has scored 133 runs at an average of 32 in four matches while Manou, who’s playing club cricket in Melbourne after quitting the first-class arena, has claimed five dismissals including two of the cleanest stumpings Australian domestic cricket has witnessed in a while.

Warne and fellow 40-somethings Stuart MacGill (Sydney Sixers), Brad Hogg (Perth Scorchers) and Matthew Hayden (Brisbane Heat) have all had an impact for their Big Bash League sides, both in terms of wickets and runs and also selling tickets.

Former Test wicket world record-holder Warne and former Test highest score world record-holder Hayden helped draw a crowd of 29,241, which is a record for a domestic match at the Gabba.

“Someone like Brad Hodge is a class act and always has been,” Warne said yesterday of his former Victorian teammate.

“All of us old guys, we wouldn’t have come out if we didn’t think we had something to offer,” Warne added when asked about fellow spinners MacGill and Hogg.

“For me, it was more than that though. My definition of success for this was to help out a lot of the young guys, pass on my knowledge to them.

“Also hopefully attracting some more people to the Big Bash.”

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