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Hodge keeping coaching options open

The Cricket Australia XI coach has denied a direct link to the vacant Yorkshire post but admits "you never say no to anything"

Brad Hodge says he is keen to coach in the County Championship one day but has denied having any link to the vacant Yorkshire post left by outgoing mentor Jason Gillespie.

Hodge was rumoured to be in talks with Yorkshire following Gillespie’s departure at the end of the 2016 County season.

The 41-year-old is the hottest property in coaching circles at the minute after he guided new Indian Premier League outfit Gujarat Lions to a preliminary-final in the side’s first year in the lucrative tournament.

Cricket Australia recognised the Victorian’s talent and put him in charge of the nation’s young guns as coach of the Cricket Australia XI in this summer’s Matador BBQs One-Day Cup competition.

And all that is while his playing days continue as Adelaide Strikers captain and assistant coach under the tutelage of the man he’s rumoured to be replacing, Gillespie.

“You never say no to anything,” Hodge said on The Unplayable Podcast. “You have a look at it, you access it, and if it fits it fits.

“I’m sure it’s something I want to do, no doubt. But there’s a lot of things happening in my life at the moment.”

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But there could be another County club lining up Hodge’s services after Leicestershire released Andrew McDonald after one season at the helm to take up the role of head coach at Victoria.

“Leicestershire is very close to Yorkshire,” Hodge said.

“Apparently Ronnie (McDonald) did a pretty good job at Leicester, maybe word’s got around that Victorian coaches are not bad.

“I don’t know what the link (to coaching Yorkshire) is. I’m just concentrating on the CA XI at the moment, make sure they get up to speed.”

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If Hodge does head to Leeds he’ll have some big shoes to fill after Gillespie revived the White Rose in his five years at the helm.

In his time with Yorkshire, Gillespie saw his charges promoted to Division One in his first year in charge, finish runners-up a year later before winning back-to-back County Championships.

In 2016, Yorkshire came within 62 runs of a historic hat-trick of titles but fell short on a pulsating final day of the season.

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Wherever Hodge goes, he’s going to make sure his players play their own game, and perhaps more importantly, have a good time doing it.

“When they’re in my company I just try and make sure it’s remembered as a really good experience,” he said.

“It’s one of the things where hopefully these guys look back and say ‘That was great that year we had in the Matador Cup and Hodgey was the coach and we had a great time.’

“I think that’s what I’m trying to sell most of the time most the time as coach.”

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