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Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Saturday, 26 April 2008 12:45 UK

Lancashire star Hodge to join IPL

Brad Hodge
Hodge's range of strokes have earned him a lucrative contract

Lancashire will be without Australian batsman Brad Hodge for the next five weeks after he agreed a deal to join the Indian Premier League.

The 33-year-old is to join the Kolkata Knight Riders, but Lancashire have decided not to seek a replacement.

"I'm still in shock at the opportunity that has been presented," said Hodge.

"Twenty20 is a format I really enjoy and to be part of the inaugural IPL tournament is something most cricketers would find hard to turn down."

He added: "It's been an extremely difficult decision to make, but Lancashire have been very understanding of my situation and I hope to repay them on the field when I return."

Hodge joined the Red Rose county in 2004 after captaining Leicestershire to victory in the previous season's Twenty20 Cup final.

606: DEBATE

Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes described him as "arguably one of the best Twenty20 players in the world".

He continued: "Although it's disappointing to be losing a player of his calibre for part of our season, we are very lucky at Lancashire to have depth in our squad and this is a great opportunity for someone else to step up to the plate."

Hodge will join compatriots Ricky Ponting and David Hussey in the Kolkata squad, which is coached by another Australian, former national team boss John Buchanan.


see also
Hodge is Lancashire's man to fear
16 Apr 08 |  Lancashire
Watkinson looking for good start
10 Apr 08 |  Lancashire
Law plotting successful campaign
13 Mar 08 |  Lancashire


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