This is a shining example of the local boy made good story.
On the road into Bendemeer, a home-made sign has been erected to celebrate and illustrate pride in the favourite son of a town boasting 485 people.
That person is Australian cricketer Josh Hazlewood, who was earlier this week ranked by the International Cricket Council as the world’s best Test fast bowler.
Hazlewood, 26, has been dubbed the Bendemeer Bolt during a career which commenced in the New England region and now sees him grace the world’s greatest cricketing cathedrals.
The right-arm quick, rested from Friday’s one-day international against Pakistan, enjoyed a golden Test summer against South Africa and Pakistan.
Hazlewood has taken 109 Test wickets at the fine average of 24.78 during his 26-Test career, statistics which compare wonderfully alongside legendary fast bowlers Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillee.
He debuted for New South Wales at the age of 17 after turning heads in this neck of the woods from a young age.
Hazlewood’s high-school cricket coach Gordon Rae, told The Leader in 2012 that he was something special from Year 7.
“I had watched him bowl in the nets, but to see his first over in competition was phenomenal. I could not believe the pace and bounce he was getting at that age. His action was sublime then,” Rae said.
Hazlewood joined an exclusive club of Australian cricketers consisting of Erin Osborne, Leonie Coleman and John Gleeson, when he debuted at one-day level in 2010 aged 18 years and six months.