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Yorkshire rookie ready for Champions League t20 competition
10:28am Friday 5th October 2012 in Sport
Dan Hodgson is preparing to take on the world with Yorkshire at the Champions League t20 competition in South Africa just five weeks after completing a club campaign with Middlesbrough in the North Yorkshire South Durham League.
The 22-year-old wicketkeeper from Northallerton has been catapulted onto the global stage via a circuitous route.
First of all Gerard Brophy was released by the county, new signing Andrew Hodd was then refused permission to play by tournament organisers on registration grounds before Jonny Bairstow suffered a wrist injury while on duty with England at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Hodgson, who played four Clydesdale Bank 40 matches towards the end of the summer, is now set for his competitive Twenty20 debut in the opening qualifier against Uva Next at the Wanderers on Tuesday.
But the first opportunity he will get to shine will be against Pakistan side Sialkot Stallions in a warm-up match at the same ground on Sunday morning (9am UK time).
“I can’t think of a better way to start my Twenty20 career than playing in the Champions League,” he said after Yorkshire’s first training session at a Johannesburg college yesterday.
“It’s going to be a lovely way to end the season, and I’m really excited.
“I always thought there might be a chance that I’d get a game with Jonny being on England duty, but it does feel a bit surreal now that it’s happened.”
Hodgson, on a summer contract with the county, has impressed the White Rose hierarchy with performances in Yorkshire’s second team this and last summer as well as for Leeds/Bradford University in a handful of first-class matches.
As well as taking four catches in a narrow three-day defeat against Surrey in April, he scored 64 in the second innings.
Despite posting two ducks, he then did enough with the gloves against Yorkshire in a similar match at Headingley later in the month.
He is expected to bat no higher than number eight throughout this competition.
“I’ve played a few first-class games against the counties, but I’ve only played a couple of Twenty20 matches for the seconds and for Leeds/Bradford,” he continued.
“I’ll be playing with and against some world class players, which should really help me to improve.
“I should learn a few things about my game.”
If Yorkshire qualify for the group stages, it means he would most likely be playing against the likes of MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar when they take on Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians: “That’s an amazing thought,” he added. “I can’t wait.”
Hodgson has been joined on the tour by Academy wicketkeeper Eddie Wilson, 18, who has travelled as back-up.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for them, but also for us to see how they handle the big stage. It’s a win, win situation,” added director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon.
Overseas batsman David Miller is due to link up with his team-mates on Monday ahead of his sole appearance in the qualifiers against Uva.