Josh Hazlewood.
Josh Hazlewood. The Northern Star

Josh Hazlewood's bowling out the competition

AFTER bowling just four overs in three days of cricket you couldn’t say star NSW under-19 fast bowler Josh Hazlewood was exactly over-worked.

Along with the rest of his NSW team-mates, the affable teenage giant was yesterday forced to watch the raindrops wash away any chance of taking to Oakes Oval for the third in a mini-series of games against their Queensland under-19 counterparts.

It was too wet to play the scheduled 50-over game, but the players hung around Oakes Oval in the hope of getting on for a reduced Twenty20 match.

However, by lunch-time, persistent drizzle ensured the match had to be abandoned.

The Queenslanders boarded the bus back to Brisbane, satisfied with two convincing wins over NSW in their previous two outings.

Meanwhile, the Baby Blues trudged back to their team hotel in Lismore, hoping to get a break in the weather and some extra practice sessions before heading home.

Hazlewood, who rose to prominence earlier this month when he was called into the senior NSW team, taking four wickets against the touring Kiwis, was naturally disappointed not to get more time in the middle.

“I had a rest yesterday (Tuesday) and was looking forward to getting out there today and getting a few overs,” he said.

“It was a bit of a shame, but I got four overs on Monday and it felt pretty good out there.”

Hazlewood, who hails from the tiny town of Bendemeer, near Tamworth, agreed that his recent call-up to the senior NSW team, and the resulting media coverage comparing him to a young Glenn McGrath, had made him more of target in the junior ranks.

“Different teams and different players might take me differently,” he said.

“Some players might come out and try and whack me for six.

“It definitely makes you more of a targeted player in that side, but I think that everyone has got them.”

Hazlewood has just finished his HSC, but after his brief brush with the big league, certainly wants to make cricket his future.

“I finished my last exam the day I got the call-up (to the NSW team), but I don’t think that I will go to uni, I think I’ll take cricket as it comes,” he said.

“It was a bit overwhelming once I got down there, being on radio and all the press conferences, but I suppose that is something you have to get used to with all the publicity surrounding sportsmen these days.”

Hazlewood is expected to spearhead the NSW attack at the under-19 national titles in Newcastle from December 8-17.

The Baby Blues will meet Queensland in the first round and NSW coach Trent Woodhill now has something to aim at after playing practice matches in Lismore.

“The first two days Queensland have out-played us and today would have given us a good opportunity to respond,” Woodhill said.

“I felt that the guys were ready to respond, unfortunately, the weather got the better of us, but there’s not much we could do about that.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom at Oakes Oval yesterday as Woodhill worked with local leg-spinner Jake Nind.

He was so impressed with the 15-year-old he took down his contact details.


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