Brisbane: Australian cricketer Josh Hazlewood's Test debut Wednesday is set to bring joy to a group of punters who placed a 500-1 bet on him playing such a game when he was still a teenager, reports said.
Friends of Hazlewood's dad Trevor reportedly placed a Aus$100 (US$82) wager with British bookmakers almost nine years ago that Josh would become a Test player. They now look set to win Aus$50,000 each (US$41,500) after he took the field for his maiden Test against India at the Gabba on Wednesday.
Josh Hazelwood (L)attempts a catch of Ajinkya Rahane. Pic/ PTI
Trevor Hazlewood confirmed the story to The Brisbane Courier-Mail but would not reveal the identities of the gamblers, believed to be from Tamworth in New South Wales near where Hazlewood grew up. "He was 15 at the time when they put the bet on. They got odds of 500-1 and they all had $100 on," Trevor Hazlewood told the newspaper.
"The guys were in England at the time and that is when they put the bet on. They bet that Josh would play Test cricket for Australia before he was 30." "I wish I had had $100 on the bet too," he added.
The group came close to claiming their winnings two years ago when the now 23-year-old was named 12th man for a Test against South Africa in Perth, but it has taken until now for the lanky fast bowler to become Australia's 440th Test player.
"They would have bit their fingernails off when he just missed out in Perth a couple of years ago," his dad admitted. The story is reminiscent of that of Irish golfer Rory McIlroy's father who won 180,000 pounds ($283,000) in July with friends on a bet placed a decade earlier that his son would win the British Open.