Fifty in warm up match edges Hodge closer to Test debut – “It would definitely be a dream come true” says him

A West Indian all-rounder who once said on a cricket academy in Adelaide that his “dream” was to play Test cricket, might get his first crack after scoring 52 in a warm up match

On his previous visit to Adelaide in 2010, as the youngest-ever full member of the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy and its first West Indian scholar, Kavem Hodge was asked his career ambition to which he replied, “to play Test cricket”.

Stylish right-hander stands poised to realize a life’s dream after compiling a tidy half-century on the opening day of West Indies tour game against a Cricket Australia XI a week out from the first NRMA Insurance Test.

Hodge and his former under-19 World Cup teammate Justin Greaves put together an invaluable 120-run stand for the fifth wicket that was bookended by a couple of costly batting collapses as the visitors ended day one of the three-day fixture 8-251.

With experience born of his time at the Adelaide-based Lehmann academy in the same intake as former England skipper Joe Root, and knowledge gained from his stint at the 2012 under-19 World Cup in Townsville, Hodge staked his claim for the honour that has eluded him since making his first-class debut in 2012.

The spin-bowling all-rounder made his senior debut for his native Dominica at age 15, has played three ODIs for West Indies but – like Greaves who top scored today with 65 – has not cracked selection in the Test format.

“It would mean a lot to me,” Hodge said after his 52 from 101 balls faced, that ended when he was fooled by left-arm spinner Doug Warren’s arm ball.

“As a little boy growing up, and even in an interview I gave when I came to Adelaide in 2010 they asked me what are my ambitions and I said I wanted to play Test cricket.

“So it’s been a dream of mine and it would definitely be a dream come true.

“Until then, I’m fingers crossed.”

Hodge and Greaves are among seven uncapped players in the 15-man West Indies squad, which ensures the team they take into the two-match series opener at Adelaide Oval next week will bear little resemblance to the XI that was heavily beaten here barely a year ago.

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