After a few disappointments last season which led to a fifth-place finish, Kings XI Punjab are now set to start Season 11 afresh. With a view to leave past snafus behind and get in some new perspective, the Kings have snapped up Brad Hodge as their new coach. The aggressive Australian batsman will be seen guiding Punjab de Puttar in their fight to reclaim the pride of Punjab. Following are a few things that make him the right man for the job.

  1. Domestic Dominator

With more than 17,000 runs in 223 First Class matches at an average of 48.81, Brad Hodge has been one of the prolific scorers in the Australian domestic circuit.

  1. Enchanting 18

Hodge has been a member of 18 cricket teams so far including, Australia, Adelaide Strikers, Auckland, Barisal Burners, Durham, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Melbourne Renegades, Northern Districts, Peshawar Zalmi, Rajasthan Royals, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Victoria and Wellington. Whew, now that’s an impressive list!

  1. Hodge the Dodge

Like most cricketers, Hodge too has a nickname his team-mates call him and it’s not too far from his original name. He is called the ‘Dodgeball’, which goes well with his reputation of dodging bad balls and punishing the loose ones.  

  1. Sheffield’s No.1

He has scored 10,474 runs for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield, making him the team’s numero uno run scorer.

  1. T20 ka Raja

Dodgeball was once the highest T20 run scorer of all time, but now he is in the sixth place overall with 7376 runs from 276 matches, making him the leader Punjab need and also the one they deserve.

  1. Coach Hodge

Hodge started coaching in 2014 when he was appointed as the coach for the Adelaide Strikers for the KFC Big Bash League. He was also the coach of the Gujarat Lions in the 2016 VIVO Indian Premier League. However, his biggest coaching assignment so far has without doubt been training his son’s under-8 team, East Sandringham, for their Saturday morning matches.

  1. Family matters

Speaking of his son, the bad news for the ladies is that this original sporter of the ‘dad-bod’ has been happily married to Megan. The couple have two children — their son Jesse and daughter Sophie. In fact, one of the reasons for Hodge’s retirement from first-class cricket has been to spend more time with his children. Now that’s what you call a family man!

  1. Bowling ambitions

Not many may know, but the explosive Australian batsman actually started off wanting to run in fast and rip through opposition line-ups. His idol? None other than the legendary Dennis Lillee. However, he soon realised he had neither the height nor the moustache for it and he has been punishing opposition bowlers ever since.

  1. 796 not out

At 43 years of age, Hodge has played 796 matches in his cricketing career so far and is still an active member of the Melbourne Renegades in the ongoing KFC Big Bash League. That is commitment to the sport if we ever saw it!

  1. The game’s gentleman

Hodge has been an inspirational figure off the field as well where he recently tweeted to raise funds for one of his son’s friends suffering from cancer.