Brad Hodge leaves Stars for Strikers
The turmoil in Victorian cricket has deepened, with one of its favourite sons, Brad Hodge, walking out on the Melbourne Stars for the Adelaide Strikers, while the Stars are preparing to chase Kevin Pietersen.
Hodge’s exit is a massive blow to the Stars, who crashed out in the BBL semi-final for the third year in a row, and to Victorian cricket.
It’s believed the Stars are trying to make room in their salary cap for Pietersen and, therefore, could be prepared to release David Hussey to the Sydney Thunder, where his brother Mike is captain.
Pietersen’s international career is over after he was cut loose by the England and Wales Cricket Board and he is looking for freelance Twenty20 gigs to top up his $1.6 million IPL salary.
Hodge, the most successful Twenty20 batsman in the world who has been recalled to the Australian team at the age of 39, will be reunited with his former Victorian teammate and Strikers coach Darren Berry and close friend Andrew McDonald.
Stars chief executive Clint Cooper said a Cricket Australia embargo was in place preventing players from signing contracts.
Teams are allowed to speak to uncontracted players, and Cricket Australia will not investigate unless it has evidence that a formal agreement has been struck.
Cooper said he would work with Hodge and his manager when the contracting period opens “in accordance with CA rules”.
“Brad is a Victorian player through and through and we’d love him to play out his career with the Stars. However this is a new age of cricket and nothing is guaranteed these days.”
The departure of Hodge, a legendary figure in Victorian cricket, will hurt not only the Stars but the state, which is in turmoil with the Bushrangers on a four-game losing streak.
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