Hodge to be named Rajkot franchise's head coach

Brad Hodge was the first batsman to make 5000 runs in the T20 format © Cricket Australia

Former Australia batsman Brad Hodge is set to be the head coach of the new Rajkot franchise for the 2016 season of the IPL. Hodge’s appointment is likely to be made on Tuesday when the franchise unveils its team name in Delhi.

The franchise had also been in talks with former South African opener Gary Kirsten, who was axed by Delhi Daredevils as coach after two seasons. Rajkot finally opted for Hodge, one of the most experienced Twenty20 players, giving him his first proper full-time coaching role.

Hodge, who is currently playing in the Masters Champions League, had originally put his name in the IPL auction’s long list. He had listed his base price as INR 5,000,000 but when the final short list was published by the IPL last weekend, Hodge had withdrawn his name.

In an interview with ESPNcricinfo last year, Hodge had said he was a “little bit of a pioneer” in Twenty20 cricket, having shaped the way Australian batsmen approached the shortest format. For the last couple of seasons Hodge, 41, performed the dual role of assistant coach and player for Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League. Hodge was the Strikers captain and his side made the semi-finals, which they lost to eventual champions Sydney Thunder.

Hodge also played for three IPL franchises – Kolkata Knight Riders, Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Rajasthan Royals. One of the few 40-year olds still active in the game, Hodge was the first batsman to make 5000 runsin the Twenty20 format, and is presently second after Chris Gayle. Hodge is one of the very few players to have played 250 first-class matches and an equal number of Twenty20 games.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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