|Posted by anccricket on October 22, 2008 at 7:22 AM|
Full name James Redfern Hopes
Born October 24, 1978, Townsville, Queensland
Major teams Australia, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Queensland
Playing role Allrounder
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Height 1.80 m
James Hopes was earmarked for higher honours in national youth teams, but took a few years to settle once graduating to the first-class level. Over the past four seasons he has been a regular with the limited-overs squads, chipping in as an evenly balanced allrounder. A brisk medium-pacer who shapes the ball, he is also an aggressive and versatile batsman who has been used at the top and lower reaches of the order. Throughout his career he has had to fight for international recognition, battling with Shane Watson, Andrew Symonds, Cameron White and Steven Smith for game time.
Hopes' most productive day at elite level came in 2010 when his 5 for 14 ensured Australia would not be embarrassed by Ireland in an ODI in Dublin. The career-best figures were a deserved reward for a low-key player who pops in to deliver handy overs or scramble late runs. His 57 off 26 balls against West Indies at Melbourne was one of three career half-centuries, coming after he had been an ODI fixture for most of 2009. In 31 matches he scored 501 runs at 25 and added 27 wickets.
In 2007-08 he experienced a busy campaign with 24 ODIs as he took part in all of Australia's one-day series. As well as useful batting contributions, there was usually a breakthrough in every game and his multi-purpose skills became highly valued by the team. The IPL franchise King's XI Punjab picked him up and he was a fine contributor in the opening season, but missed the second event to rest an injury, and was hurt in the lead-up to the third tournament.
If Watson had returned to Queensland from Tasmania a year earlier, Hopes could have spent 2004-05 pushing for a state place rather than impressing the Australia selectors and earning a one-day tour of New Zealand. He has five Pura Cup centuries for Queensland and two one-day hundreds, but bowling was his main weapon in the domestic competition in 2005-06. He collected 15 wickets at 18.33 in the ING Cup and 16 at 22.56 in the Pura Cup, but was unable to transfer his regular success into the international arena. Adding eight ODI appearances, he did not take more than a wicket in a match, although his batting showed promise with a top score of 43 against Sri Lanka.
Hopes was dropped from the squad at the end of the VB Series and missed the tour to South Africa, but when Watson suffered a calf problem in Bangladesh he was replaced by his Queensland team-mate. Despite the late-season promotion, Hopes was cut from the national contract list and told to re-impress in interstate competition. He did that for Queensland in 2006-07, scoring 553 runs and taking 21 wickets in the Pura Cup, and capturing a season-high 20 victims and a first one-day century in the FR Cup. When another Watson injury occurred Hopes was put on World Cup standby before regaining his Cricket Australia deal.
A regular sweater in the gym, Hopes would love to be a professional golfer, but instead drives powerfully through the covers. Hopes, who made his debut in 2001, is the Bulls' leading wicket-taker in the one-day competition and Stuart MacGill's record of 124 is under threat. In 2010-11 he was handed the state captaincy, replacing Chris Simpson. He began with Queensland's Emerging Players as a 13-year-old and played in the state's under-age sides before progressing to the Australia Under-19 team - he scored 105, 71 and 51 at the 1998 Youth World Cup - and the Academy.