Brad Hogg, former Australian left-arm leg-spinner, was a part of the team that won back-to-back World Cups and the chinaman played a key role in both them, as he frequently chipped in with crucial wickets during the middle-overs.
But it wasn’t as if it was all hunky-dory for the West Australia spinner. Hogg had made his debut way back in 1996 but was soon dropped after having played one Test and seven ODIs.
Two years later, Hogg was dropped from his state team- Western Australia- a post which he was given a reality check from his then-teammate and the current Australian coach Justin Langer.
“I toured with Australia in ’96,” he said. “Two years later, I was in the dressing rooms at WA [Western Australia]. I’d just been dropped by the state team, I was carrying on like a pork chop. He pinned me up against the locker in the changing room and said ‘Mate, you’ve got to pull your head in, otherwise you’re going to lose your cricketing career very quickly. Go home and look at yourself in the mirror.’ That was probably the biggest moment in my career.” Brad Hogg said on Cricket Badger podcast.
Brad Hogg eventually made his return in 2002-03
Hogg revealed that Justin Langer’s words made his re-evaluate his relationship with then Western Australia captain Tom Moody.
“During that period I wasn’t really having a connectedness with Tom Moody,” he said. “I was blaming him for certain things, and when I went home and looked at myself in the mirror I started to get some home truth,” he added.
“I went for a run that night and sat on a park bench sort of in tears, just realizing what I had done, throwing the opportunity away. It took me 18 months to get back in that state team and [five] years to get back for Australia. I had lost my core values of being a team man and I became selfish. Luckily, I had the opportunity to get back on the right path.” he said.
It would take another five years for Brad Hogg to get a call-up to the international team. And, it all happened in an unexpected manner. Hogg was recalled for the 2003 World Cup after Shane Warne was banned for a year for using a banned substance, that too on the eve of the tournament.
Hogg, however, grabbed his opportunity with both hands, and went on to become a regular member of the Australian white-ball team for a better part of the next 10 years.