Yorkshire believe they signed one of the best glovemen in county cricket in Andrew Hodd – and from evidence of his first two years at Headingley, it is hard to argue against that view.
The former England under 19s wicketkeeper, also a talented batsman who has played all his county cricket in the south with Sussex and Surrey, joined Yorkshire on a month’s loan towards the end of the 2012 campaign to cover for the absence of Jonny Bairstow who had been recalled to the England Test team.
A left-field line of thinking tells you he was actually a beneficiary of Kevin Pietersen’s brief troubles within the England camp because had that not happened Bairstow may not have been called up and Hodd may not have got his chance to impress.
But impress he did. Having scored a half-century on Championship debut against Derbyshire, he took five catches in the first innings, including a stunning one-handed effort off Ryan Sidebottom’s bowling.
Hodd played under 17s and 19s cricket with Andrew Gale, Tim Bresnan, Liam Plunkett and Joe Sayers in 2001 and 2003, and it seems Yorkshire also got themselves a winner to boot when he signed a permanent deal ahead of 2013.
He had been around two County Championship winning campaigns with Sussex, particularly in 2007, two 40-over league successes at Hove and one Twenty20 Cup success.
He added another Championship winning medal in 2014 when Yorkshire triumphed.
2001 – Toured Australia with England’s under 17s team in April before making his second XI debut for Sussex later in the summer.
2002 – Made his first-team bow for Sussex in a one-day match against the touring West Indies A side in June as well as playing in the C&G Trophy for the Sussex Cricket Board.
2003 – Toured Australia with the England under 19s in January, but only played one first-team match for Sussex that summer – his first-class debut against the touring Zimbabweans in May – forcing him to move to Surrey in search of more senior opportunities. Sussex won the Championship that season under Peter Moores.
2005 – Having only played four first-team matches for Surrey in two seasons, without making his Championship debut, he was on the move again – this time back to Sussex.
2006 – Played the first two Championship matches of his career for the South Coast outfit in April as they won their second title in four years, this time under new coach Mark Robinson.
2007 – Was given a bigger part in the Sussex first-team with Matt Prior having broken into England’s Test team. He played 12 Championship matches as the title was retained, scoring 123 in the first innings of a win against Yorkshire in September. He had already scored his maiden first-class ton against the touring Indians in July.
2009 – Played 12 times as Sussex won two limited overs trophies, the Twenty20 Cup and the Pro40 League. He also played 16 first-class matches in the summer, more than in any other season during his career.
2010 – Scored a List A career best 91 in a 40-over win against Lancashire at Hove in May, something that will no doubt go down well with Yorkshire fans!
2012 – When he signed for Yorkshire in August, his debut for the county ended a run of 13 months without a Championship appearance due to the presence of Matt Prior and the up and coming Ben Brown in the Sussex set-up. But he settled into Yorkshire life seamlessly with some vital contributions as the county won Championship promotion.
2013 – Having signed a two-year deal with the county ahead of 2013, he played nine Championship matches during this summer with a top-score of 68 not out in a draw against Somerset at Taunton in May.
2014 – Started the season behind the stumps in the first team because of an injury to Jonny Bairstow, hitting a useful 55 in the opening round draw against Somerset at Taunton. He played five Championship matches in all on the way to his third career four-day title. Hit a stunning 69 not out against Leicestershire to secure a thrilling come-from-behind win at Grace Road in August as Yorkshire reached the quarter-finals of the Royal London one-day Cup. Signed a new two-year contract with the club ahead of 2015.