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Shock call for Hodge

Veteran batsman Brad Hodge has surprisingly been called up for the remainder of the Twenty20 series with England.

The 39-year-old has not played for Australia for six years, but has been handed a recall after Moises Henriques was called up as injury cover for the Test tour of South Africa.

Hodge is the leading run-scorer in T20 history and has roamed the world as a short-game specialist in recent years.

A sheer weight of runs, and solid form in this year's Big Bash League with unbeaten Melbourne Stars, has prompted a welcomed return to the international stage.

Brad Hodge has been in decent form for Melbourne Stars but said "I never thought this day would happen again" of his Australia call-up

"I never thought this day would happen again," he said.

"I never gave up the hope of trying to achieve what I wanted to and that was to play for Australia. I guess I felt if things weren't going to happen before, they certainly weren't going to happen now. It was a nice pleasant surprise."

James Faulkner faces a race against time to be fit for the World Twenty20, which starts on March 16, after undergoing knee surgery on Tuesday.

The all-rounder's injury paved the way for Hodge's call, after he was forced out of the South Africa tour.

Faulkner is set to see the surgeon again tomorrow morning to confirm how long he is likely to be on the sidelines, but suggested the World T20 remained in his plans.

"Yeah it is," he said. "I've got to do everything I can to give myself a chance of coming back when I want to come back.

"If I don't get that opportunity I'll have to cop it sweet. I'll find out my fate in the first week or so. Hopefully it's good news rather than bad news."

Meanwhile Phil Hughes has replaced fellow batsman Shaun Marsh, whose calf injury is not expected to recover in time, for the Test tour of South Africa.

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