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Northallerton-born wicketkeeper Dan Hodgson hailed by Yorkshire chiefs
11:21am Thursday 25th October 2012 in Sport
There were many positives to come from Yorkshire’s three-week Champions League t20 campaign in South Africa, but arguably none bigger than the performances of rookie wicketkeeper Dan Hodgson.
At 22 years old, the Leeds/Bradford University gloveman, on a summer contract with the county during 2012, was thrown in at the deep end due to the unavailability of York-based Jonny Bairstow and Andrew Hodd.
Yet, having played on a global stage in pressure situations against players such as Umar Gul, Kieron Pollard, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni, he significantly enhanced his reputation.
While his batting will improve as he gets stronger, his 21-ball 18 in the opening qualifying win against Sri Lankans UVA Next in Johannesburg was absolutely vital in a nervy pursuit of 151.
That was the Northallerton-born player’s highest score of the tournament, but it was his glove-work that was the most impressive.
According to first-team coach Jason Gillespie, it was “top notch”.
“He’s been fantastic,” said Gillespie. “We’ve spoken about wicketkeepers bringing lots of energy, and Dan’s done that very well. With the bat he’s made some important contributions too.
“It was a bit of a baptism of fire coming in against Umar Gul on your debut in the UVA match after your overseas player has been hit on the head.
“It was a difficult situation, but the way he batted with Adil Rashid was fantastic.”
White Rose skipper Andrew Gale even went as far as saying: “I don’t remember him making a mistake. I’d say he’s probably been our man of the tournament. He’s gone unnoticed, which is a good thing as a wicketkeeper.”
It would be a major surprise if Hodgson, who plays his club cricket for Middlesborough in the North Yorkshire/South Durham League, did not sign a new deal at Headingley for next year and beyond, leaving the county in a position of enormous strength behind the stumps.
“There’s no question that it’s an area in which we want to be as good as any county in the country,” added Gillespie.
“We believe we have the talent to serve Yorkshire well for a number of years. It’s very exciting for us.
“The opportunity for Dan to experience something such as the Champions League environment is only going to be good for him down the track, there’s absolutely no question about that.”
Hodgson played two first-class matches for Leeds/Bradford in 2012, one against Surrey and the other against Yorkshire.