Cricketing mentor ready for the Bendy boy to blitz

By Geoff Newling and AAP

JOHN Muller is hoping Bendemeer boy, Josh Hazlewood, is picked in the Australian 11 to play South Africa at the WACA tomorrow after being included in the 14-man squad this week. 

The former left arm medium pacer was one of the many local coaches who helped young Josh in his early days when a student at Oxley High in Tamworth.

“It’s great news about Josh being included in the Australian squad for the next Test in Perth,” Muller said this week.

“While at high school Josh attended the Ken Falkenmire Cricket Academy at the indoor cricket centre in Dampier St. He, along with many other aspiring young male and female cricketers, were coached by John Kilborn, John Rixon and the Shelton brothers, Rob and Mick, and myself at the indoor centre. 

“The sessions were held every Tuesday during the winter months where they were taught the art of pace and spin bowling, batting and fielding techniques and most importantly manners on the cricket field. The academy was very successful over the years producing many fine young cricketers who played first grade in the local and NW competition and in NSW country representative sides at the SCG. 

“Names that readily come to mind include Michael Rixon, Callan Roberts, ‘Pixie’ Jenkins, Nick Pearson, Mitch Power, Erin Osborne, Hamish Batley and Ted Alderton. 

“I know local cricket stalwart Ian “Butch” Southwell is extremely proud of Josh’s achievements along with all the sporting fraternity throughout the North and North West.”

Meanwhile, Test bowler Peter Siddle said he’d been boosted by the inclusion of three new quicks, with Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood and John Hastings added to the Adelaide Test squad.

The Victorian said long-term Australian teammate Johnson had slotted back in well after 12 months out of Test cricket.

“We’ve spent a lot of time together and played a lot of cricket together so it’s nice to have him back around the group,” Siddle said.

“My (Bushrangers) teammate John Hastings and young Josh Hazlewood is back in the group – so it’s a good group of guys.” 

n Turn to Page 30 for more on Siddle’s Test hopes as well as Central North’ Bradman Cup Under 16 side.

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