Brad Hodge ruled out of Melbourne Renegades’ BBL semi-final against Adelaide

Brad Hodge has issued a cheeky tweet declaring his interest in playing in the Melbourne Renegades semi-final on Friday but the only hope the Victorian batting great has of “miraculously” returning is if his team wins through to the final.

Hodge is due to be released from hospital on Wednesday, having had appendicitis and then an infection. He had been slated to captain the Renegades against the Sydney Thunder last week but has missed the past two matches, including a finals-clinching win over the Brisbane Heat on Saturday.

His experience and poise will be missed against the Adelaide Strikers in the cut-throat clash but the Renegades, thanks to shrewd recruiting, have been able to hold their nerve without their front-line talent.

Coach Andrew McDonald said on Tuesday his team had dealt with several “moving parts” in a season when it has returned to the finals for the first time in five years.

“We have, obviously, had some Australian selections, we have had some injuries and, obviously, Hodgey was named to be captain and then came down with appendicitis,” he said.

“The moving parts, we have had to deal with, but some of the young players have stepped up. Beau Webster has come in, Matthew Short – we always pride ourselves on our depth.

“Everyone has spoken this year in terms of the list we have put together. It was put to the test in the last two games and it came up. If Hodgey was to make a miraculous recovery, he may be available for the final [on Sunday] but that’s a long way ahead.”

Hodge’s tweet was tongue in cheek as the Renegades did not train on Tuesday. They will have a solid session on Wednesday, before leaving for Adelaide.

“Just completed final training session before we head to Adelaide. Could be time to turn back the clock and get up the order for @RenegadesBBL against my old club @StrikersBBL. Time to turn it it on for some old fans,” Hodge said.

McDonald was quick to shut down any chance Hodge would line up against the club that controversially dumped him last summer.

“He has had a bit of a wretched week, an infection on the back of his appendicitis operation, so he is absolutely no chance. But we are hoping he can travel over in his coaching capacity and contribute in that way,” McDonald said.

Cameron White, returning from international representation, will captain the Renegades, while South Australian fast bowler Joe Mennie is set to be added to the squad to replace Kane Richardson, who is on Twenty20 international duty with the Australian side.

“He has had a bit of a wretched week, an infection on the back of his appendicitis operation, so he is absolutely no chance. But we are hoping he can travel over in his coaching capacity and contribute in that way.”

The Strikers prevailed easily when the teams met at Etihad Stadium last week but the home side has been significantly weakened by losing skipper Travis Head, fast bowler Billy Stanlake and wicketkeeper Alex Carey to Australian duties.

McDonald, the former Australia all-rounder, said Team Red had the ability to adapt to the Strikers’ plans.

“We have got the flexibility to match up in a couple of ways, considering our all-rounders. We have Dwayne Bravo, Jack Wildermuth gives us great flexibility, along with Tom Cooper,” he said.

“We believe we have three all-rounders along with [Kieron] Pollard – probably four all-rounders in the top seven batters. We have the flexibility to structure up differently if we need to.”

Brad Hodge has issued a cheeky tweet declaring his interest in playing in the Melbourne Renegades semi-final on Friday but the only hope the Victorian batting great has of “miraculously” returning is if his team wins through to the final.

Hodge is due to be released from hospital on Wednesday, having had appendicitis and then an infection. He had been slated to captain the Renegades against the Sydney Thunder last week but has missed the past two matches, including a finals-clinching win over the Brisbane Heat on Saturday.

His experience and poise will be missed against the Adelaide Strikers in the cut-throat clash but the Renegades, thanks to shrewd recruiting, have been able to hold their nerve without their front-line talent.

Coach Andrew McDonald said on Tuesday his team had dealt with several “moving parts” in a season when it has returned to the finals for the first time in five years.

“We have, obviously, had some Australian selections, we have had some injuries and, obviously, Hodgey was named to be captain and then came down with appendicitis,” he said.

“The moving parts, we have had to deal with, but some of the young players have stepped up. Beau Webster has come in, Matthew Short – we always pride ourselves on our depth.

“Everyone has spoken this year in terms of the list we have put together. It was put to the test in the last two games and it came up. If Hodgey was to make a miraculous recovery, he may be available for the final [on Sunday] but that’s a long way ahead.”

Hodge’s tweet was tongue in cheek as the Renegades did not train on Tuesday. They will have a solid session on Wednesday, before leaving for Adelaide.

“Just completed final training session before we head to Adelaide. Could be time to turn back the clock and get up the order for @RenegadesBBL against my old club @StrikersBBL. Time to turn it it on for some old fans,” Hodge said.

McDonald was quick to shut down any chance Hodge would line up against the club that controversially dumped him last summer.

“He has had a bit of a wretched week, an infection on the back of his appendicitis operation, so he is absolutely no chance. But we are hoping he can travel over in his coaching capacity and contribute in that way,” McDonald said.

Cameron White, returning from international representation, will captain the Renegades, while South Australian fast bowler Joe Mennie is set to be added to the squad to replace Kane Richardson, who is on Twenty20 international duty with the Australian side.

“He has had a bit of a wretched week, an infection on the back of his appendicitis operation, so he is absolutely no chance. But we are hoping he can travel over in his coaching capacity and contribute in that way.”

The Strikers prevailed easily when the teams met at Etihad Stadium last week but the home side has been significantly weakened by losing skipper Travis Head, fast bowler Billy Stanlake and wicketkeeper Alex Carey to Australian duties.

McDonald, the former Australia all-rounder, said Team Red had the ability to adapt to the Strikers’ plans.

“We have got the flexibility to match up in a couple of ways, considering our all-rounders. We have Dwayne Bravo, Jack Wildermuth gives us great flexibility, along with Tom Cooper,” he said.

“We believe we have three all-rounders along with [Kieron] Pollard – probably four all-rounders in the top seven batters. We have the flexibility to structure up differently if we need to.”

Brad Hodge has issued a cheeky tweet declaring his interest in playing in the Melbourne Renegades’ semi-final on Friday but the only hope the Victorian batting great has of “miraculously” resuming is if his team wins through to the final.