The Return of Paul Hoffmann
He’s one of Scotland’s most successful cricketers. And Paul Hoffmann, the Australian-born bowler, has now confirmed he will be playing for Uddingston again this summer – at the age of 47.
The popular character, who won 119 Scotland caps and took a record 282 wickets in the Scottish National League, has spent the last four years in Australia, working in the catering business, but has returned to the country where he made his name.
Hoffmann also has a new role, not as a professional cricketer, but a schoolteacher in Wishaw, and it seems his life has gone full circle since he originally arrived in Caledonian 20 years ago, never imagining he would become a sports star.
He said: “I’m back in Scotland again after four years in Rockhampton, in Australia. I started my first day of teaching English in Scotland this week at Clyde Valley High in Overtown, near Wishaw.
“When my wife, Lynette, and I owned the cafe, I decided to go back to University and did a Postgraduate Diploma of Secondary teaching. I taught in Rockhampton last year and was lucky enough to get the position at Clyde Valley High after an interview on Skype.
“I’ll play cricket again for Uddingston this summer, but I’m not sure how much bowling I’ll do as I’m still suffering from wear and tear in my right shoulder and that’s stopped me bowling properly since we won the Scottish Cup in 2011.
“I love cricket though, so I’ll definitely be giving it my best shot.”
It’s 10 years since Hoffmann featured in the Scottish side at the World Cup in the Caribbean and he still has memories of how that poor campaign – the Scots lost all their matches – marked the beginning of a slump in their fortunes.
He added: “I often wonder why after winning the qualifying tournament in Ireland and after convincingly beating Ireland in the final, we were drawn in the same group as Australia and South Africa, while Ireland got the inconsistent Pakistan (whom they beat) and West Indies.
“I can’t put my finger on why we didn’t do so well in the World Cup. The loss to Holland was terrible. Again, we were sent in on a tacky track that seamed about everything, but had dried out by the time they batted. A toss can be crucial depending on the conditions.
“We all got on well and tried our best, plus the coaching staff worked hard. It just didn’t happen for us. It was great to get there in the first place, but I just wish we could have made our mark, as that was a pretty good side we had then.”