After continually backing Brad Hodge and really believing he would get back into our Test team and put that Baggy Green back on, it would seem all my efforts and firm belief in his batting abilities are not going to be justified.
It is expected that he will announce his retirement from First-Class cricket (4 day cricket) and finish with the Bushrangers this year.
He will continue to play 50 over and T20 cricket, which is the good news but it is unfortunate none the less. Apparently over 50 First-class centuries wasn't enough.
The competition has always been strong for places in the batting line-up but there have been many times where those of us here spoke about him being overlooked time and time again.
He hasn't done a great deal wrong, with a sligh mess-up in India in 2007 which many people held over his head. He has continued to put in strong, dominating performances for the Vics while also maintaining consistency throughout this season. He still has a reputation for power striking and having the ability to maintain his composure for extended periods in the middle.
He did what he had to and that was too keep scoring runs!
Hodgey was even issued a fresh Cricket Australia contract for the season which seems to have been a total bloody waste. He wasn't considered for the Ashes despite the experience he has in First-class County cricket. He could have slotted in easily but he was pretty much an injury filler in his short yet gapped Test career.
Taking the contract, the State runs and the never ending disapointments into consideration, I can't blame the man for deciding the time is near to call it a day from the extended form of the game.
You can go on about pride and all of that but what really matters is that he was making these runs to get his opportunity to play Test cricket for Australia, courtesy of his performances for the Bushrangers.
In a statement he made he had the following to say regarding the above:
"I was struggling to find reasons as to why I wanted to play. I've always wanted to play Test cricket for as long as I can. But what's the difference if I get one more Test now? I want to play 30 or more, but that's not going to happen. In my own mind I just didn't want to go through it any more.
"To be honest, I struggled in the contest. The passion to play is not there any more. I played [first-class cricket] so I could play for Australia, so I reached the point where I was struggling to work out the reasons why I was still playing."
That is fair enough and I hope that he will get more valuable time with his family and that other doors will open up for him.
He is a fine batsman and while his personality may have not clicked with many people and he is certainly not the most popular bloke (based on the many forums and comments I read on articles over the years), I think he did a damn good job in Test cricket when given the chances. Hopefully there will still be some fireworks from him in the other forms of the game he will continue to play.
Good luck Hodgey and that First-class record speaks for itself (as of 01 Dec 2009)!
Runs: 17 012
Brad Hodge, sadly another Baggy Green in the scrap-yard.