"I knew it was sandpaper" - Barmy Army gets Josh Hazlewood to sign hilarious photograph during 1st Ashes 2021 Test 

Representative photo of Josh Hazlewood (L) and the picture that he signed on Saturday (R).
Representative photo of Josh Hazlewood (L) and the picture that he signed on Saturday (R).

Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood fell victim to a witty and hilarious prank by the English fan group Barmy Army.

Australian players fielding on the boundary signed a few autographs for fans at the Gabba on Day 4 of the first Ashes 2021 Test. Unlike in India, where good space is left between the crowd and the ground in most stadiums, this is the norm Down Under, especially since the COVID-19 restrictions have been lightened.

A Barmy Army member got Josh Hazlewood to sign his own photograph, but without the pacer's knowledge of the cheeky text in fine print at the bottom. The paper that the Aussie signed read as follows:

“I Joshua ‘Joshie’ Hazlewood do solemnly sear (swear) that I knew it was sandpaper.”

The Barmy Army shared a snipped of the photo via Twitter, with the caption:

"Josh Hazlewood just signed this on the boundary, we knew it"
Josh Hazlewood just signed this on the boundary, we knew it 🤣#Ashes

Josh Hazlewood was part of the Australian bowling attack that played the infamous Cape Town Test against South Africa in 2018. Visiting opener Cameron Bancroft was caught using sandpaper on the ball, which led to an overhaul of Cricket Australia (CA) and bans for Bancroft, then captain Steve Smith and David Warner.

Earlier this year, Bancroft had hinted that Australian bowlers were aware of the whole plot. In response, the bowling group released a statement denying the claim. Josh Hazlewood, separately too, has always maintained that he wasn't involved in the saga.

Josh Hazlewood gets the prized wicket of Jos Buttler as England capitulate

A near-complete performance from Australia sees them take a one-nil lead in the series #Ashes

Coming to the Test, all hopes of an England fightback were extinguished as early as the seventh over of Saturday when Cameron Green got rid of the opposition skipper Joe Root, who had played brilliantly for his 165-ball 89. His wicket opened the floodgates for a collapse as England capitulated from 229-3 to 297-10.

Josh Hazlewood had injury concerns yesterday but looked fine today, dismissing Jos Buttler for just 23 with a ball that seamed away after pitching. Australia were set a meek target of 20, which was chased in a little more than five overs.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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