The illustrious career of former Western Australia seamer Michael Hogan will draw to a close on Thursday evening AEST, with the 41-year-old’s final first-class match in the County Championship wrapping up in Hove.
The four-day match against Sussex looks destined to end as a draw, with rival captain Tom Haines and opening partner Ali Orr combining for an unbeaten 312-run partnership on day three to wipe out Glamorgan’s entire first-innings lead.
It would take a herculean effort from Hogan and his Glamorgan teammates to force a result, but you wouldn’t put it past the Newcastle native to muster one last miracle before he hangs up the boots.
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Earlier this year, Hogan confirmed the 2022 English summer would be his last in first-class cricket, ending his professional career with 931 wickets in 380 matches across 17 seasons.
Former Test cricketer Peter Siddle is the only Australian paceman to have claimed more first-class wickets this century, but Hogan’s most dumbfounding achievement arguably comes with the bat.
The modest right-hander, typically found at No. 11 in the batting order, has never been dismissed LBW in any format, setting an all-time record for most matches without being trapped on the pads, according to The Cricketer.
“It’s hard to get out LBW if you don’t put your pads in line with the stumps,” laughed former West Australian teammate Adam Voges.
“I think he still holds the record for most runs at No. 11 in the Sheffield Shield, certainly for WA.
“It was a unique method, but LBW was never a dismissal you thought would ever come into play.”
Hogan burst onto the scene in 2008 after taking buckets of wickets for Northern Districts in Premier Cricket, representing the New South Wales second XI alongside future Test players Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Starc.
He worked as a council worker at the time, installing Foxtel boxes around Newcastle before the tragic death of his brother in early 2009 prompted him to take cricket more seriously.
“That was the eye-opening moment where I said, ‘OK, it’s time to stop stuffing around here and pull your finger out and make sure you be the best player you can be’,” he told cricket.com.au earlier this year.
“That was a light bulb moment, to take something good out of the bad.”
West Australian coach Tom Moody spotted Hogan’s potential later that year, encouraging him to travel interstate and ply his trade in Perth.
Hogan made his first-class debut for Western Australia at 28 in November 2009, claiming 3/29 in the first innings against Victoria at the MCG. He had gone from a council worker to a professional athlete in the space of a few weeks.
Over the next seven years, Hogan claimed 221 Sheffield Shield wickets at 27.09 in 60 matches, cementing his status as one of West Australia’s most reliable bowlers.
The tall quick was renowned for his relentless accuracy, troubling the country’s best batters by repeatedly prodding at an awkward length.
He took 46 first-class scalps in 2011/12 summer, the second most in Sheffield Shield competition that season.
Voges, who played in Hogan’s first and last match for Western Australia, praised the veteran paceman for his “no-fuss character”.
“There was no bulls*** around what Hoges did, he got on with the job,” he told news.com.au.
“He was ultra-reliable. We knew that when Hoges came on to bowl that scoring was always going to be difficult for the opposition.
“He always asked good questions, was always that go-to guy that if we needed to apply some pressure or needed to try and take a breakthrough, he was often the guy that we would throw the ball to.
“He would have that canny knack to be able to take the ball away and set up the batter for that huge inswinger, particularly early. He took a number of dismissals that way.”
Hogan never cracked into the national side, but you’d struggle to find a better example of a cricketer who enjoyed a successful career without a Test cap.
“He was a wonderful servant for WA cricket, and obviously went on to become a wonderful servant at Glamorgan as well,” Voges said.
“You need those players. You need those guys who make domestic competitions really strong.
“I think Michael can be incredibly proud of the career he’s been able to have.”
Hogan, who also worked alongside coaches Mickey Arthur and Justin Langer, played his last match for Western Australia in 2016, finishing as the state’s eighth highest-wicket taker in Sheffield Shield history.
He also played two seasons alongside cricket legend Ricky Ponting at the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League, coming up against modern greats Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan in the popular T20 competition.
Courtesy of his mother’s British passport, Hogan moved to Wales and made his County Championship debut for Glamorgan in 2013.
Over the following 10 English summers, he claimed 654 wickets across formats for the county club, forming a dangerous opening partnership with countryman Michael Neser and establishing himself as a cult hero for the Welsh team.
Hogan boasts the all-time Glamorgan record for most T20 wickets with 114 scalps at 21.96 in 94 matches.
Last summer, he helped Glamorgan secure its first domestic cup in almost 25 years by taking the decisive wicket in the Royal London One-Day Cup Final against Durham.
Hogan also represented the Southern Brave in The Hundred this year, taking seven wickets in seven matches playing alongside Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.
After Glamorgan’s season finale in Hove, he will return to New South Wales with wife Rachel, a lawyer also from Newcastle, and their two young children, who have Welsh accents.
“I loved playing alongside Hoges, he was just one of those teammates that everyone loved,” Voges said.
“There was no fuss or fanfare about it, he got on with his job and did it incredibly well.
“His record speaks for itself in terms of the wickets and contribution that he’s made, but I think the character and the person he is made playing with him so enjoyable.
“I’ve been really proud to see him go on and have a really successful career.”