NEWCASTLE’S Michael Hogan is looking to unleash his thunderbolts on English county cricket after completing another stellar first-class season with Western Australia.
The Warriors fast bowler is negotiating a move to the Old Dart to continue his rapid development.
Hogan finished second on the wicket-taking list in the Sheffield Shield this season with 46 scalps at 23.52 in 10 matches.
The right-armer notched up his 100th first-class wicket in the second innings of the loss against Tasmania on Saturday. He was recognised for his bumper season with selection in the Sheffield Shield team of the year yesterday.
Only Tasmanian rookie Jackson Bird (48 wickets from seven matches at 15.75) was more lethal with the ball this season.
Hogan and his wife Rachel are expecting their first baby in May, so any move to England is likely to follow in July.
Hogan is eligible for a British passport due to his mother being born in the UK.
‘‘There’s been interest. We’re just finalising some details and then we’ll go from there,’’ Hogan said.
‘‘I’ve always wanted to do it – it’s just been about finding the right time.
‘‘It’s a reasonable time for me and my wife to do some travelling and see how the other side of the world lives.’’
The Warriors finished fourth, only two points short of qualifying for the final, which starts tomorrow at the Gabba when Queensland take on Tasmania.
‘‘It’s always good to get personal success, but it would have been nice to make the final,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a definite improvement on the last couple of seasons that I’ve been there.
‘‘A few of the guys probably learnt how to play four-day cricket.’’
Last season the former Merewether recruit won the Laurie Sawle Medal as his adopted state’s player of the year after he was thrust into the role as the Warriors’ bowling attack leader.
This summer Hogan led the attack from the outset and he felt comfortable in the role.
‘‘It was forced upon me last season due to injuries, so I knew I had to do it. This season I’ve just continued on,’’ he said. ‘‘I just know my game now. I don’t go away from what works for me.’’
On weight of wickets, Hogan should be in the running for national honours, but he is realistic about his chances.
‘‘With young bowlers going so well, I’m resigned to the fact that first-class cricket will be the limit,’’ he said.
‘‘But that’s fine, I have no problem with that.’’
? Newcastle’s Leah Poulton was rewarded yesterday for her excellent summer with the bat when she shared the Women’s National Cricket League player of the year award with NSW Breakers teammate Lisa Sthalekar.
Poulton scored 254 runs at 42.33 this season, which included three half-centuries.