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What should I ask Brad Hodge, David Warner or Northern Districts?


State Vice-Captain
Thought I might be being a bit optimistic. Warner doesn't fly in til tonight (enjoy Oamaru!!), Hodge doesn't talk. I spoke to Graeme Aldridge instead. He was a decent guy- I'll link my article tomorrow if anyone's interested. My apologies.
Interested, yes.

When visiting Whagarei earlier this year I read a good in the Northern Advocate with Joey Yovich. Some of the longer serving fringe-NZ players have interesting stories to tell about their career, their international hopes, the effect of contracts (IIRC Grub would have started with ND before the contract system), pitch conditions in NZ, the rise of domestic T20 etc.


International Debutant
Right, for some reason my article, published on Wednesday has not been uploaded to the Mail website. Took this from raw, apologies for length. Northern thrashed Otago by 9 wickets. Aldridge took 3-24, Hodge got a fifty, Warner failed:

Experienced Northern Districts
strike bowler Graeme Aldridge
says his team are confident ahead
of today's Twenty20 clash with
Otago at Oamaru's Whitestone
Contracting Stadium.

The 33-year-old, who has led
the ND attack so far this season,
said Sunday's win against Auck
land was _ if anything _ too
easy. Aldridge took 2-20 from four
overs as Auckland collapsed for a
paltry 74. If Otago are to do better,
they will need good performances
from their overseas professionals
Darren Stevens and Chris Nash
and key batsmen Craig Cumming,
Aaron Redmond and Neil Broom.
``They're the three big boys in the
top order,'' Aldridge said.

While ND respect their oppon
ents, Aldridge seems eager to get
at the Volts. ``I
wouldn't say
we're afraid of
any of them,''
he said.

ND have
two huge over
seas stars
themselves in
Brad Hodge
and David Warner. Hodge, a for
mer test batsman, is currently in
the one-day form of his life and
has come to ND looking for a
place in next year's Twenty20
Champions Trophy in India.

``He's been good,'' Aldridge
said. ``Very relaxed, and he's fit
ted into our way of thinking.''

Hodge has made a couple of
cameo knocks in the HRV Cup so
far, but Aldridge reckons Oamaru
could see a masterclass from the
Aussie star. ``He's ready to do a
big innings. Tomorrow would be
good,'' he said.

Oamaru will also welcome the
big-hitting Aussie David Warner,
who flew in on Tuesday night to
take the field.

``We're excited about him,''
Aldridge said.

The small boundaries at
Whitestone Contracting Stadium
will play into the hands of the
powerful ND batting line-up, but
Aldridge's job is to stop Otago
taking the same advantage.

As a bowler, Aldridge has an
impressive record in Twenty20,
with 21 wickets at an average of

24. ``You need a bit of luck,'' he
said. ``Some days you can bowl
quite well and cop a hiding, others
you can get a couple of half-
volleys caught on the boundary.
But you can influence the game.''

As for batting, well, ND like to
keep things simple. Though
Twenty20 is known for innovative
flicks and paddles, many times
they just don't come off.

``It's something we think about
_ proper cricket shots, standing
still at the crease. Look at Hodge.''

Even ND's captain Peter
McGlashan, known for his
innovative stylings and unortho
dox strokeplay, gets going with
normal shots before he brings out
the reverse paddles.

Aldridge thinks ND have a
great chance of winning the HRV
Cup this year and is buoyed by
the thought of the Champions

``For a lot of
the guys who
haven't played
it'll be the
biggest stage
they've ever
had,'' he said.

there are
plenty of ND
players who have played on the
biggest stage of all. Recently,
19-year-old Kane Williamson
joined them. Aldridge has known
Williamson for a while.

``Everyone realised six or
seven years ago he would be a
good player. I just hope the media
are patient with him and give him
time. It's easy to forget he's so

There are plenty more where
Williamson came from. ND's
Trent Boult, a pace bowler, has
been talked about as a future
Black Cap. ``He's got all the
goods,'' Aldridge said.

Hamish Bennett, a young
Timaru-born paceman, recently
made his Black Caps bow before
getting injured. Aldridge defin
itely sees what the selectors are
trying to do.

``They want to fill the gap
Shane Bond left,'' he said.

``If you're a young bowler with
a bit of pace you'll be wanting to
work hard.''

A good message for young
North Otago pace bowlers, even if
it comes from today's enemy.