James Hopes will go down as one of Queensland’s most valuable players. Nearing his 35th birthday, the all-rounder has done just about everything imaginable for his state in a career that looks like going on forever.
There is nothing flashy about Hopes, but he always manages to pick up a key wicket or score a handy 30 or 40 when the team needs it most.
Hopes is one of the most experienced players in Australian domestic cricket, and his captaincy has always been first rate.
The all-rounder has consistently delivered with both bat and ball for both the Bulls and Australia.
His nine wickets against the Blues in 2008/09 were backed up by a crucial 55 in the same match.
He is the sort of player you can rely on to score roughly 600 runs and take 25 wickets a season in the Shield.
Hopes was influential in guiding the Bulls to the Shield title in 2011/12. After scoring 55 in the first innings, he turned the game on its head with 5/61 to stun the Tigers.
His 2012/13 was masterful as ever, with Hopes bagging 5/27 against the Redbacks, and six wickets in the match against the Warriors.
He added 88 against Victoria, before taking six wickets in the final from his 65 overs.
With 4,222 runs and 214 wickets, he is one of the most successful all-rounders in the modern day Sheffield Shield.
Hopes has also taken a staggering 214 wickets in 50 over cricket, and has scored heavily and quickly against the white ball.
His international career mirrored his state form; consistent until the end. IN 84 ODI appearances, Hopes scored 1,326 runs at a strike rate of 93, and picked up 67 economical wickets.
His ability to adapt his game to suit any scenario is what sets him apart. Hopes can blast a rapid fire 50 off 30, or he can resurrect an innings after a poor start.
And the same goes with his bowling. Hopes has regularly opened for the Bulls, with his swing troubling many established batsmen, while his cutters and changes of pace are deadly in the middle stages of any 50 over match.