Hodge to lead CA XI against Pakistan

Victorian legend takes the reins of young CA XI side for pink-ball warm-up in Cairns

Former Test batsman Brad Hodge will again take the reins of the Cricket Australia XI after he was named coach of the side to face Pakistan in a three-day tour match in Cairns.

The pink-ball day-night game gets underway next Thursday (Dec 8) at Cazaly’s Stadium, ahead of the Commonwealth Bank Day-Night Test against Pakistan, which begins on December 15 at the Gabba.

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Hodge, who coached the CA XI during October’s Matador BBQs Cup, will coach the side for the tour match, with Bupa National Cricket Centre Head Coach Troy Cooley to be his assistant coach.

Western Australia batsman Will Bosisto will captain the young side, which features seven players with full state contracts and four state-listed rookies.

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“This is a really exciting challenge for these players to test themselves against a world-class opponent in Pakistan,” Cooley said.

“Every member of this squad has played first-class, List A or Futures League cricket in the past 12 months, and we are confident that this opportunity will benefit these players as they look to press their claims for state selection, and hopefully in years to come, national honours.

“Already this season, we have seen some extremely positive signs as a result of players getting the opportunity to test themselves at a higher level of cricket through the CA XI, with Arjun Nair among the top 10 wicket-takers in the Matador BBQs Cup and Ryan Gibson among the top 10 run-scorers.

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Four players – Bosisto, Blues allrounder Nair, Queensland’s Mark Steketee and South Australia’s Cameron Valente – have already played in the Sheffield Shield cricket while 10 members of the squad played in this season’s Matador Cup.

Three players who represented the CA XI during the Matador Cup have gone on to earn Shield call-ups so far this season.

NSW batsman Gibson earned his Blues debut, while Victoria ‘keeper Sam Harper and Bosisto returned to represent their respective state sides.

CA XI squad: Will Bosisto (captain) WA, Jake Carder WA, Alex Gregory SA, Josh Inglis WA, Ryan Lees TAS, Arjun Nair NSW, Jimmy Peirson QLD, Matthew Short VIC, Mark Steketee QLD, Cameron Valente SA, Cameron Wheatley TAS, Jake Winter SA.

Pakistan squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Sharjeel Khan, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan

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Meg Lanning Steve Smith