Former Adelaide Strikers captain and T20 veteran Brad Hodge is heading back to his home state of Victoria for BBL|07 after signing on with the Melbourne Renegades.
The signing represents a homecoming for Hodge, who was inaugural member of the Renegades back in BBL|01.
Hodge had indicated that BBL|06 could be his last season, but has decided to go around again after smashing 281 runs at a healthy strike rate of 130 for the Strikers.
The 42-year-old is widely considered to be one of the best tactical minds in the shortened format, as well as having amassed 7,338 runs since making his debut in the shortened format in 2003.
The Renegades have also landed Victorian spinner Jon Holland and South Australian paceman Joe Mennie to round out their squad for the seventh edition of the BBL.
Hodge’s return to the Renegades will see the veteran will feature in a 25th season of professional cricket in Australia.
“It’s fantastic to be back at the Renegades and I’m really excited about the squad we’ve put together,” Hodge said.
“I’ve obviously played a lot of cricket with our Coach Andrew McDonald and skipper Aaron Finch and I’m looking forward to working closely with them again.
“I enjoyed my time in Adelaide but I’m really excited about the prospect of playing in front of my home crowd again.
“I’ve had so many memorable moments playing cricket in Melbourne and I’m looking forward to adding a few more this summer with the Renegades.”
Holland was also a member of the Strikers squad last season but missed the campaign through injury.
The left arm spinner took 50 wickets in 11 Sheffield Shield matches last season, including a seven-wicket haul in the first innings of Victoria’s win in the Shield final.
The 30-year-old is on the comeback trail after a knee complaint ruled him out of last month’s JLT One-Day Cup and will provide selectors with a third spinning option alongside West Indian import Sunil Narine and veteran Brad Hogg.
Mennie has had stints in Perth, Hobart and Sydney and joins the Renegades after making his Test and One Day International debut last year.
Renegades Coach Andrew McDonald is pleased with the final make-up of the squad.
“Hodgey is one of the best T20 players the game has seen so to land him is a really big boost for the team,” he said.
“His contribution will extend well beyond runs on the scoreboard. He’ll be an important sounding board for our leaders and will be able to provide some great insight for our younger squad members.
“Jon and Joe complement our bowling attack really well and we’re going to have plenty of options with the ball which is critical.
“The squad has come together really well. There is a strong mix of clean strikers, a versatile pace attack and some top-quality spin options.
“We just missed out on the finals last year and with some really good additions to the squad we’ll be hoping to build on that and play some really entertaining and winning cricket.”
The Renegades BBL season gets underway on December 21 against the Hurricanes in Hobart.
The side’s first home match is against Brisbane Heat on December 23 at Etihad Stadium.
Melbourne Renegades squad: Aaron Finch (Capt.), Dwayne Bravo, Tom Cooper, Marcus Harris, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Jon Holland, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Sunil Narine, James Pattinson, Kane Richardson, Matt Short, Chris Tremain, Matthew Wade, Guy Walker, Cameron White, Jack Wildermuth.